If you follow me on any of my social channels (instagram and twitter), you know I had a rough go of it last week. It was one of those weeks where everything that could have gone wrong, did. Most of it stemmed from the stress of my job. I had two court appearances back-to-back and over 11 hours of travel in the car in two days. On top of that, poor communication and procrastination caused things to be more difficult than they probably needed to be. By Tuesday, it already felt like the week would never end.
Luckily, Joe was there to help me and give me some great advice. He reminded me that work is just that, work. It is not my every day and it is definitely not my everything. I have a lot of exciting things that I get to focus my energy on (including this blog), so when things go wrong at the office, I just need to remember to sit back, breathe, and get through the day. Because my real life happens when I get to leave that place.
I took that advice, and finally Friday arrived and I had survived. It’s important to remind yourself in those moments that you’ve dealt with rough and terrible situations in life before. You have made it through then, and you will make it through again. Even if everything is going wrong, remind yourself that it is just work and it is not life. I found that reminder incredibly helpful.
So I thought I would share six tips I learned and tried to follow during last week to combat stress:
1 \\ Don’t be afraid to talk about it! When I’m feeling stressed, I love to shut down and not talk about what’s bothering me. That usually causes an explosion sometime down the road over something entirely unrelated. Instead, it’s better to voice how you’re feeling to someone you trust and can talk to. People will listen and often offer great advice and oftentimes just hearing your stressor out loud will make you realize how truly manageable it actually is.
2 \\ Control those things you can control, and let go of the rest. So often stress is caused by things outside of our control. Instead of worrying about that, focus on what you can control to make your life easier and get to work on that!
3 \\ Make a manageable list of tasks and start crossing things off. I say manageable because you want it to be things you can actually accomplish that day. Just the act of crossing things off on a list will make you feel like you’ve regained control.
4 \\ Take three deep breathes. I do this anytime I feel my anxiety creep up or the weight of the day upon me. I just close my eyes and breathe low and slow for three beats. It helps calm me down.
5 \\ At the end of the day, do whatever it is that you enjoy to get away from it all. Take a walk, read a book, get lost in a tv show, go out to dinner with friends. Do something that will let you leave the weight of that stress behind. It’s not going anywhere unless you let it, so let it leave you for at least an evening.
6 \\ Get a good night sleep. Or try. This is something I struggle with, because as soon as my head hits the pillow my mind starts freaking out. Get into the habit of finding a routine at night to help calm you down. I love having herbal tea before bed. Then, as I drift to sleep, I let my mind wander over an interesting book I read or show I watched, replaying the scenes in my head as I’m lying there.
I just wanted to say a quick thank you to those who reached out and offered kind words of encouragement and support last week. Even the smallest gestures made the biggest differences. And a special thank you to my sweet friend, Mendy, who knew just want I needed after being in the car for 11 hours – wine and flowers!