In my day job, I've been struggling with a few issues.  The stress has been higher than normal making me fall into old bad habits.  I'd love to say I recognized this immediately and countered it but of course I didn't.  I got in a rut.

As I recognized (finally) what I was doing and the rut I'd been spinning my wheels in, I returned to techniques I knew worked.  Stress is bad for my gout.  It makes it flare up and cause me a great deal of pain.  

The first thing I did was post affirmations where I knew they would do me good.  I put one up on my bathroom mirror so I can look at it each morning and chant it while I shower.  I also added an affirmation in clear sight at my day job.  

Now when I'm feeling stressed in the middle of the day, I look out my window which has a nice view of pine trees and a grassy hill (which has been covered in snow).  My affirmation is:


A sphere encircles me

Creating a safe haven

For me to gather energy

To regain my balance

By bringing my focus within

I regain awareness of

The divine in everything

 Peace and calm within my sphere

Peace and calm within my spirit

Peace and calm within my mind

Peace and calm within my heart

Peace and calm taken from within 

To the world without

This helps me to balance my energy while I am coping with the stressful day.  It reminds me to focus on the positive energy and positive things going on and let go of the negative and stressful things happening.

Another thing I've been doing is crocheting a lot.  Crocheting for me is meditative.  My hands are moving but my mind can just flow free.  Even when I'm creating a new pattern, I feel lighter and at ease when I spend time crocheting.  It helps me feel better about myself as I create a practical and beautiful item for someone to use.  I send my positive energy into the item I'm creating.

The last thing I'm doing is making sure I get the necessary down time for releasing the stress I've been feeling.  To that end, I'm escaping for a long weekend with one of my daughters.  I'm taking crocheting and spending the weekend with her.  I'll work on projects while we bond over her naughty new kitten and Downton Abbey.  

In my day job, the stress level and the hectic pace ramps up over the next two months.  I'm taking this weekend away to help me refill my energy.  I'll have the fun energy of a new kitten who is mischievous and adorable as well as motherly energy from my daughter who has been worrying about me.  

Now as I see myself falling into those bad habits, I have triggers to stop myself.  I'll pick up my crochet hook or drink water instead of soda or look at my affirmation and chant even just part of it.  Sometimes when I glance at it one line will pop out at me and it sticks - Create a safe haven - or one of the other lines.  It isn't the full chant but it's a lift, a hint of a reminder of the balance and calm I seek.