took an extra day off after the July 4th
holiday and by the end of the day realized that I hadn’t programmed much R&R! I was busy working on stuff. (Okay, in full disclosure – I was getting ready for a contest, which I just launched yesterday. You’ll find out more below. ) However, even though I was busy prepping for my contest launch, I realized that I didn’t feel stressed or mad about not having downtime.
And the reason for this? I’ve gotten to the point in my life where this rarely occurs because of 3 simple steps that I follow on a consistent basis. I can’t say that this was always the case. I would often take on a ton of to-do’s and commitments, hold in feelings, push myself to the limit and then TOTALLY crash. I would end up making myself sick physically and emotionally. You know the days when potato chips and onion dip are your dinner and you’re ready to puke afterward… Can you relate? So, what 3 simple steps do I follow that have helped me strike stress and overwhelm from my vocabulary and life?
Here they are:
- Plan daily quiet time. This recharges both your body and mind. I usually sit out in nature all by myself, without any technology, for at least 15 minutes, pray and am still. If meditation works for you, then practice this as part of your quiet time. (I’m personally not a “meditator”.) Or I also use this time to let out heavy feelings. You might find me in my backyard, hula hooping and hurling out some choice words about a person or situation. The physical releasing of these emotions is truly phenomenal and is totally underrated in our society. Especially in the “positive thinking movement”. You have to get real with what’s going on and let things out! I let my body guide me and tell me if I need stillness or physical releasing. What’s the clue? If I feel tension in my neck – it’s stillness that I need. If I have tension in my gut, it’s physical releasing that I need… This daily quiet time also helps you build intuitiveness about what your needs are.
- Eat lots of fruits and veggies. I can’t emphasize this enough, but healthy body = healthy mind. You are what you eat. Remember my example about eating potato chips and onion dip for dinner during high stress times? Well, I typically got sick from all the fat and processed crap. And guess what? I totally didn’t have any energy to tackle anything. Plus, this led me to feeling even more stress and overwhelm. I now eat a plant-based diet. I’m not saying that this is for everyone, but you’ll be amazed at how much more energy you have when you’re eating fresh fruits and veggies. You sleep better and have fewer cravings for sugary, fat-laden processed foods. I can’t tell you the last time I ate a potato chip since I just don’t crave them anymore. Another benefit for me has been that I feel like I have a real mental clarity that helps me focus and be proactive. I don’t respond to drama like I used to either! Hey, this one alone is worth eating all your fruits and veggies for, isn’t it?!
- Organize yourself. No, this doesn’t mean another to-do list. It means: de-clutter your mind and environment. Running around in the morning, looking for your keys, hunting through your closet and remembering that you have a big presentation, but nothing ironed? Well, the buck stops here, my friend! The gremlins didn’t steal your keys and the magic fairy won’t take care of your laundry. For me, I noticed that when I just started jotting down things that I need to take care of and doing a morning brain dump, I felt amazingly calm and ready to take on the world. I then organize the brain dump into various trackers: I keep an on-going “taking action list” for my biz activities; a shopping list for items we’re out of; and a normal list of things I need to get done around the house. Sounds like work to you? Well, it’s the answer to the question I get on a regular basis: “How do you juggle everything?” I organize myself. Another thing that helped me get out of stress and overwhelm was to say no to clutter. I no longer feel like I have to hold onto things that I don’t need or want. I purge frequently, put things away right after I use them and say no to family members who try to “gift me” with items that aren’t my taste or what I need.
Remember the goal is to strike stress and overwhelm from your vocabulary (and your life), but don’t do it by tackling all 3 steps above at once! Take on one step and then move on to another. I promise you – you won’t hear yourself saying: “I’m stressed. I’m overwhelmed.” You’ll say: “Yay – I’m having fun and getting things done!”