Gosh darn it! I ran late with a client, and now I’m rushing like crazy to get across town to my P.T. appointment. EVERYONE is in my way, as if they’re all doing it on purpose. I stop at a light, “Okay Anne, breathe” I say to myself, “You know if you focus on being late, you’re just going to be more late”. It seems logical and I remind myself to relax my body along with changing my thoughts. Breathe. The light turns green, I take this as a good sign and speed along. Another red, a stop sign, another red light, slow people. You have GOT to be KIDDING ME!! I arrive, exactly on time, but still stressed. While there, I get a text message from son one telling me we’re having company for dinner. The condition of my house flashes before my eyes. Crap! Off to the grocery store, meat market, get home, straighten to the best of my time abilities because I’ve got at least 5 things for work I need to get done today, and then was going to start spring cleaning the yard. So much for my day of “catch up” around the house. Before I know it, I’m crabbing at everyone inside my own head.
Stress! Its everywhere, all day every day. We know what it feels like, we know we don’t like it, we even know what we’re supposed to do about it, but seriously, those darn adrenals know how to pump it out! So what’s a real life girl to do? Relax, you say…with a straight face??? If only it were that easy. Again, we KNOW what we’re supposed to do, we know stress isn’t good for us, but how can we really manage our stress?
Well, just in time for another day of life, here are some things you CAN do.
- Set some goals. Small ones. Step by step. Make a list of what NEEDS to happen. If there is a project, clearly outline the project. What are the goals, what are the steps involved in each goal, and what is it going to take to get there? Who’s involved? What’s the timeline? Gather the information and use it to gain some clarity. It doesn’t matter if its nothing more than your daily clean the house list on a Saturday. Make a list of what needs doing. Checking things off the list as you go will help you have a perception of control, and make you feel good that you’re getting something done. I’m an anxiety kind of person. Life just stresses me out because. Do you have enough time to accomplish everything? Well, that brings me to number 2.
- I was working with a business client awhile back and we talked about making lists of daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. tasks. Her response was an immediate, “oh! I never make lists! They’re too intimidating. I never get it all done and then I feel bad”. Let me back up, we started this conversation because she was talking about how she never accomplishes anything, and she is tired of spinning her wheels. I enter in with “a list”. “it’s basically just a road map of your year”, I say. “It’s not written in granite, just paper and pen, you can change things as you need to”. Too often we try to eat the rhinoceros whole and in doing so, choke on it. Take a look at that to do list you have; you know the one that never ends. Yeah, that one. We’ve all got way too much to get done and seeing that list can seem daunting. The struggle in NOT creating one is that we have little ability to organize, and without some organization, its really hard to establish your priorities. The list just gives you a visual way of crossing something out, that say, are not as important as you once thought, and moving up on the list the things that really do need your attention. Either from a standpoint of personal value, or urgency. Setting your priorities will help you live your entire life from a standpoint of what’s most important to you. May I suggest that THAT be the first list you write. “What is most important to me in my life?” Now, go live that. Not only does it decrease your stress, but it will automatically increase the level of fulfillment you experience day to day.
- Oh please. Stop. I don’t even want to hear how you are the one that HAS to do everything because no one else can do it right. According to whom???? That is an ego trip my friend and not the fun scenic kind. I’ll recommend you take a look at the deeper story in that, but for now, let me just say, “ask for help”. People learn by doing. Literally, more than 70% of us humans have a kinesthetic learning component. Play into that. Ask people or voluntell (that’s a word at our house) people for jobs that you know they can do. Little kids? Have them pick up toys or put their cloths in the basket or put socks away. What little kid doesn’t like to play with socks?! Make a game out of it. Older kids, laundry, cleaning, vacuuming, dishes, everything short of paying the mortgage really. After all, you ARE paying the mortgage. That pesky co worker that never does anything right and you’re positive she does it on purpose so no one will ask her to help. ESPECIALLY HER! When we let people off the hook on a long term basis, we’re helping them keep a job they don’t really want. Why would we do that? Only because we don’t realize that’s what we’re doing. Easier to just do it yourself, you say. Stop saying that. Teach what you know. Keeping it all to yourself doesn’t create job security, it creates animosity and fear. Not okay. Realize when you do everything either at home, or at work, you’re denying others an opportunity to convey to you that you are important, or that their job, community, organization is important to them too. Some people just don’t know how to start. Help them. ask them to help you.
- Move your body! Yep. That’ll do it. When you’re feeling stresses out, get up and move. If you move yourself 5 feet you literally just walked out of the problem. By leaving the energy field of the situation, you can gain a new perspective, get a breath of fresh air and come at it from a new angle. In addition, exercise for even 20 minutes a day is as effective in treating stress related conditions, then medication. Just move. Don’t worry about how long, what type, does your outfit look okay, none of it. Just move.
- Focus on what you CAN DO. So often when we’re stressed out, we’re thinking of all the moving parts of the situation. Sometimes we’re even in our heads blaming someone else because their part isn’t done, even when ours isn’t’ done either. It’s so much easier to make someone else the problem. What CAN YOU DO? Pay attention to the things you can control and do those. The more focused we are on what is in front of us, the more available we are to the very solutions we’re working towards. A perception of powerlessness just brings us more stress and a bunch more negatives like, anger, frustration, sadness, anxiety, etc. No good. I text the kid and husband and have briefed them on their duties to be accomplished once they get home from work. I have done what I can do, and still maintain my sense of caring for myself and my work. Do what you can do and focus on that.
Is this a totally comprehensive list of all that you can do? Heck no. Are there a number of other really helpful tricks? For sure. Here are a few tips to give you some down and dirty tools for the next time life is pushing you too far. After all, you’ve got work to do. And I am making dinner for company tonight.