Whoa there, Life, slow down!

Help yourself slow down during a busy week with feel-good moments on hump day

Actually, I’m kidding. Kind of. Anyone who knows me knows that stagnancy and boredom are “the enemy.” Rivards are made to move, be busy, by dynamic and boisterous! Well, despite my natural predisposition to take like at 90 miles an hour, every now and then it hits me just how fast life moves. I’ve been at my agency for over a year now. I’ve been out of college for more than 14 months. I’ve been with Nightwolf for 6 months. (Although, it feels like longer than that, in the good way. Seriously, it’s amazing how it just feels so dang natural, like he was always meant to be there.)


Obligatory post of me looking ridiculously happy with Nightwolf. To read the story of how he got his nickname, see this post.

Anyways, life has been flying by and I haven’t been taking the proper time to document it. I owe back blog posts about my California trip, about topics I’d promised to cover, about all sorts of life-related things. I’ll get to that someday.

Instead, I’m going to take a deep breathe and think about how I can slow down when I need it. It’s very fitting that I was approached about a sponsored post by Ozarka Water; they wanted to cover feel-good ways to slow down in the middle of the week. (Even if it’s a Friday, we all know how exhausting the middle of the week is. That’s when we need this most!)

Now, stress management is even more vital to my well-being than your average person. With mental health concerns and a history of eating disorders, walking that line of staying busy and staying sane is vital. “Unwinding” for me isn’t just a matter of “just” decompressing; it’s preventative healthcare.

So, how does a bipolar, constantly-stressed-out Type-A girl with a high-stress job and a lot of student loan debt manage her stress?

  • Pick up either my ukulele or my flute and play. Music has always been cathartic to me. (I’m a horrible singer, though. I’m not sure if my apartment neighbors can hear…but I hope they don’t hate me for it if they can.)
  • Fall into a good book. You guys, Nightwolf got me hooked on George R.R. Martin’s books. You know, the ones that Game of Thrones is based on. If you’re into fantasy (and even if you’re not) GO GET THESE BOOKS. They’re wonderful, and I get way too emotionally invested in them.
  • Candles. I love candles. This part of my de-stress repertoire is especially important after working under harsh office florescent lighting all day long.
  • Walk, or run. I like to say “I run” but the truth is, I suck at running, physical activity is SO good. Runs/walks are my “me” time. It works out physical tension I’ve accrued over the last few ays, and allows me to clear my head. It also releases endorphins, which are brain chemicals that improve mood!
kelly rivard color run 2013

Running is even better when you get to participate in stuff like this. This is from the 2013 Kansas City Color Run. I wore a tutu.

  • Cook a nice meal (for just myself, or to share). I’m not a very talented cook, but I do think I kind of know my way around a kitchen. (Nightwolf may not agree. I’ve burnt more than my fair share of meals while cooking for him…) Either way, much like creating music, creating food is therapeutic to me.
  • Art. Painting, drawing, or even coloring. It isn’t about creating the work from scratch; it’s about letting go of logic and letting your hands and your heart give life to something. While I love painting and drawing, I’m a huge advocate for a Crayola 24 pack and a Disney Princess or Transformers coloring book.
  • Pet a furry critter. Studies show that, similar to exercise, petting an animal can release mood-enhancing chemicals in the brain. Plus, no matter how battered I feel by the world around me, I can always count on coming home and being unconditionally adored by Rory Rue, Ferocious Fred, or even Nightwolf’s crazy dog, Zelda.
Two weeks ago, Rory and Fred in bed together. Cat and dog, getting along.

The snuggle buddies, Rory Rue (longhaired Dachshund) and Ferocious Fred (ginger kitty).

  • Meditate. I don’t mean the cross-legged yoga-style meditation that requires weird breathing. I mean, reflection. As a Christian, this sometimes involves a heartfelt conversation with God. Sometimes it involves talking to my Daddy, because even if he’s gone, he’s always with me. Sometimes, it’s as simple as giving myself a perspective check. Useful things to remember:
    • I have a roof over my head.
    • I am loved, by both God and more wonderful people than I dare to even imagine I deserve.
    • I can pay my bills.
    • I have a great job.

So, there’s my list. Next week’s Hump Day will be here before we know it. Nightwolf and I have plans for a double-date with some of the most wonderful people I know on Wednesday. it’ll be fun to laugh and chat with friends, and afterward I’m probably going to unwind with a quiet night in. I may learn a new song on the ukulele, or I may just change into sweat pants and watch missed episodes of Big Brother with my pets.

Either way, I’m spending my Wednesday night how I want — and I’m grateful to Ozarka for the lovely incentive to revisit how I manage my stress. With how fast life as been lately, I haven’t paid much attention lately. And you know what? It’s nice to be reminded how to relax now and then. If you want to join the dialogue, share your relaxation techniques, and learn from others and their feel good moments, hop on over to the Ozarka Natural Spring Water Facebook page.

This post is part of a sponsored campaign by Ozarka® Brand Sparkling Natural Spring Water.


5 thoughts on “Whoa there, Life, slow down!

  1. Pingback: When Hump Day is your Monday, things are hard. | country nights, city lights

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