How Adding Chocolate Making to Your Busy Schedule Leads to Stress

Normally I don’t read the Martha Steward column because she gives far more complicated instructions than I have the time or desire to undertake.

Today was an exception, since anything with the word chocolate in it immediately catches my attention. The title, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, was clearly calling my name.

I looked at the title and immediately had a vision of special “me” time, curled up in front of a fire, jazz playing softly in the background, browsing through my newest magazine and delighting in mouth watering chocolate covered strawberries.

As I read the instructions, I couldn’t help but think that Martha was now beginning to write recipes for the average, busy, chaos-filled life of the women of America like me.  So far, so good…I can do this.

The part about drying the strawberries was a little daunting but I was confident I could master it so that not a drop of water would be left on the strawberries causing clumps. After all, who wants clumps on their strawberries?

I was even willing to search the supermarket for parchment paper that I could place the little devils on so they could be kept in the refrigerator for two days.

Wow, I’m psyched now…I can almost taste the strawberries and picture myself stretched out on the sofa like the little vixen I am, indulging in a sinfully delightful treat.

And then, in true Martha style, she throws the curve ball right out of the field. This is what she says: “If the confections won’t be eaten right away, you may want to temper the chocolate to prevent ‘blooming‘ [white spots that sometimes appear over time on the surface of chocolate”]. What??  Ok, Martha, this is where you lost me…

For those of you who have the urge to temper your chocolate, you can get all the information you need here.

I don’t know what you know about tempering, but I know quite a bit about temper tantrums, temper holding, temper loosing and temperatures; chocolate tempering — not so much.  Although I have seen ‘blooming” on the candy bars on sale at the local drugstore, it never stopped me from devouring them.

All of this Holly homemaking just makes me want to go out and BUY some chocolate.

If you’re anything like most women, you already have quite enough things going on in your life more important than learning how to “temper” chocolate when you can just go out and buy some.

All of this detail about making and tempering chocolate makes me think of how we decide what tasks to take on when our lives are overwhelmed, over-scheduled, frustrated and too busy.

I’m not knocking Martha Stewart and her recipes. If you have the time and energy for this kind of complex direction…go for it.  It’s just not one of my priorities.

And speaking of priorities…

Most women I know have more than enough on their plates and struggle to have the time to get everything done.  Adding chocolate tempering to an already busy day just seems a little too stressful for me.  Setting priorities is the key to stress reduction.

So, how do you decide what else you take on when your plate is already full?

You might want to consider the following tips when you start thinking of adding one more item to your already chocked-full plate that cause stress, frustration and overwhelm:

  1. Eliminate anything on your to do list that will tax your energy supply. Chocolate making might be fun for some of you but if it’s something that causes stress, don’t do it or wait until you have the energy to tackle it.
  2. If detailed instructions bog you down, ask someone who is more detailed oriented to help you or scratch it off your list until you can be more focused.
  3. Use a small tablet to organize your thoughts, make choices based on what’s important to you now.  Re-energize and relax to avoid frustration and overwhelm.  When you feel energized and have some organization in place, tasks don’t seem so daunting.

Gladys Anderson - Life Coach, Therapist, Author


About the Author:

Gladys M. Anderson is a certified group coach, personal life coach and a licensed marriage & family therapist.  Gladys helps nurses, therapists, teachers and other caregivers establish boundaries, build balance and create breathing space into their busy lives.

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