It’s 6:00pm Sunday. And yet another precious afternoon has passed me by all too quickly. If only I could have slowed down time, and made 3 hours 6, that would have given me more time to read, write, learn, do the things I love most in life, but no, instead the afternoon has slipped away like a snake, sliding quietly away into night and soon it will be bed time followed by another busy week of work. Funny how when life is busy there just isn’t enough time to go around.
Rewind to three hours ago when my writing time started. My head was spinning and felt like it was 100 miles away after yet another morning waking up exhausted after dreaming of work, and other stressful things. To bring my mind back to a happy place, I needed to meditate, something which I admit was really nice, but took an hour of my precious short afternoon. Normally I can accomplish in 20 minutes of meditation what took me 60 minutes today. It seems the more stressed I get, the more time gets devoted to de-stressing and trying to keep my life balanced thus resulting in less time spent on the happy fun things I love doing in my limited free time, like writing. But with meditation done, my head feeling clear, I am finally sitting down to write.
Right now my life doesn’t feel completely balanced, that is my reality this week, this month. Sometimes busy and stressful things happen that just can’t be helped. Like for example a 60 hour work week. Sure you can be a very organized little bunny in the workplace (that’s me!), but if those around you are not in your position for whatever reason, it’s going to cause you to have to stay back late as you receive that piece of information you need to finish a project hours before the deadline instead of weeks before when you were ready to receive it. Well, at least that’s what happened to me anyway. Stuff happens, that’s life, and when it does, we find ourselves devoting time to making our lives feel back to normal, and if one thing is taking up alot of time, like say our full time job, it leaves less time to find the life balance. A 60 hour work week normally wouldn’t cause me to feel so exhausted, burned out, but after months of going steady, with only weekends off, last week nearly tipped me over the edge. A few tears, tension, and a few outwardly stressful moments resulted, which normally lie dormant somewhere buried amongst the layers of happiness and busyness. Despite everything though, I do love my job, and I wouldn’t consider changing it because of a few bumps in the road, most of us wouldn’t, it’s all part of the job, it’s what happens. It tests us, teaches us, and challenges us.
Being the woman on the edge of cracking down the middle from exhaustion last week, and having to devout much more of my weekend to recovery, here are a few things I have been doing to eliminate the stress and get back to balanced as I face another long and busy week of deadlines and corporate world happenings. Hope they can help you too if you find yourself currently in my position.
- Meditate. Even if just for 20 minutes. It can really help you to calm. Just focus on clearing your mind, let those thoughts race through your head then disappear. Focus on emptying your mind of thoughts, and sit there in the peace of very little, it’s actually quite restful, and the more you try to empty your mind, the easier it gets. You may not succeed the first time, but you will feel better for trying.
- Drink herbal tea. Although some people only like to drink herbal tea before sleep, it does do great things in relaxing the body, and the mind. We fill our bodies with caffeine to stay awake and get through the day and this can add alot of stress to our bodies. Herbal teas such as camomile, lavender, rose, peppermint or a mixture of those amongst others are calming and great when we get home from work. I like to drink a big cup in the morning of the start of a busy day so I walk into the office feeling calm and relaxed. It makes facing the days challenges a little easier. I also drink Brahmi and Gingko tea because I find they clear my mind and make my head feel less murky, something I find caffeine does not do.
- Dance. Walking is great, and a walk through nature can clear your mind and help you to feel more relaxed, but dancing is a great way to let go of alot of stress in a shorter period of time. I recommend a free dancing class like 5 Rythyms, but if that doesn’t exist in your area, close your blinds, turn on your favourite music, close your eyes and dance your little heart out until your ready to drop. Dance out those tight spots, dance out those woes, and let out all that emotion. If you are angry, dance a boxing punch, if you are stressed, shake it all out. It’s good exercise too, and you’ll probably have a better night sleep too.
- Write/Speak. I know some people who aren’t the fastest typers, and I noticed that it’s easier for them to pick up the phone and have a conversation than it is to write down thoughts. If you are a speaker, speak. Ring a friend, and talk about your day, how it makes you feel, or if you are like me and don’t like burdening your friends, you can just talk your thoughts into a recorder (most new smart phones come with one and people will think you are talking to someone), you’ll feel better getting them all out. Or if you are more of a writer like me who can type as fast as I think, you can sit and write it all out. Guaranteed, you’ll get a bit of clarity from whatever form of expression you choose, and you’ll feel better for it.
- Be positive. It’s hard to be positive when we are tired, a bit cranky and half way through a stressful day, but sometimes focusing on one thing positive can actually make a world of difference in getting us through our day. Something like for example the favourite meal we plan to treat ourselves to when the day is done.
- Positive Reflection. Life has it’s downs, it’s tough periods, it’s hard parts. We wonder why it happens to us when so many others seemingly have it so easy. When I’ve had a crappy day, or a difficult week, once it all has passed and things are feeling a little better, I like to look back at that period to find the positive. It’s not always so easy to find at first, but with a bit of prying we can find it. What lessons did we learn that week that we may never have learned had we not gone through it? What experiences did we take with us that we can share with others to help others going through the same thing? What good things did happen? And lastly, how can we turn that crappy week into a funny story? Laughing at ourselves makes things feel a little better, and something more share worthy too.