I find that during times when my mind is stuck in a worrying pattern, it just may be I have too much time on my hands. There is nothing like getting busy and working at a task (getting in “the flow”) that makes the worrying monkey mind go away.
Here are some ways to get busy and say good bye to worry:
1. Hit the gym and have a good work out!
2. Try a new fitness class at the gym.
3. Do something creative: write, paint, draw, sculpt, dance…
4. Do some volunteer work
5. Set a few goals that are important to you and take action on them.
6. Get lost in a really good book.
7. Join a new club: Toastmasters, a local French club, Book club, etc.
8. Organize something: your closets, your bookshelves, that junk drawer you have in the kitchen, your files, email inbox, or photos on your computer
9. Write thank you letters to anyone who has made a difference in your life.
10. When all else fails, call mom or cuddle with your cat.
you have arrived.
A blustery day (so far)…
I need to find a way
to turn you into something worthwhile.
Perhaps I will remember to:
be thankful for the little things,
and disassociate from people and experiences that
do not serve my happiness and well being.
Yeah, Monday morning…
As you turn to afternoon,
may you mellow a bit and treat me kindly
as I soon embark upon your trail this A.M.
In concert with you, Dear day,
I will find a way to
an armor to deflect the stress…
and eventually rest so that I may welcome in
Tuesday with promise.
If you are a perfectionist, a people pleaser, or just a person who wants to do good, you may from time to time fall prey to the “second guessing yourself” syndrome. What is this, you ask?
Does any of this sound familiar?
1. You make a decision about something and then stew and fret about whether you made the right decision.
2. You make purchases which you later regret.
3. You sometimes question your choice in: careers, what you are wearing today, what you ordered for dinner, where you are living, even your mate…
4. If you are ever someplace or doing something and you think about all of the other places you could be or the other things you could be doing.
5. You worry about the presentation you made at work, or the paper you turned into your professor…
6. You stress about how you are spending your recreational time: should I be doing dance instead of yoga? Writing in my paper journal or electronic journal? Do I hop on my bike or simply go out on a walk?
This kind of doubting and second guessing one’s self is a recipe for anxiety and insomnia. I know. I am an expert at self-torture. I think many of us people pleasers of the world are prone to this. Perfectionists and tender hearted folks are as well. We just want to do well! We want to make the right choices… be the perfect mothers, wives, and employees. When it comes time to have a vacation we want to select the perfect one: destination, air fare, where we sit on the plane, what hotel we will be staying at, what sights we will see, what restaurants we will eat at, etc.
If we permit our minds to think about all of the options out there (and in today’s world there are always so many choices, aren’t there?!), we will be stuck in agony. There is this “grass is greener on the thing that I did not choose” mantra.
This is misery. Anxiety. Sleepless nights.
I don’t know that I will ever be completely free of this. Just when I think I am sailing along pretty well on this river I am riding, a student or my husband or my kid will say something to me that completely takes me by surprise and because I am not prepared, I take it personally and get emotionally hijacked… Or perhaps an unexpected bill or expense will present itself and I panic and think to myself “What have you done, Debra, staying home all those years with those children and then returning to work as a teacher when you could have practiced law”?
Hmmmm…the beat down and sleepless nights occur.
Although I am still not as thick skinned as I wish I could be, I have come a long way over the years. I have found some things that have helped me overcome my anxiety and self doubt:
1. With each day, I remind myself of the fact that I am doing my best. I may make mistakes (perhaps I wasn’t the perfect teacher, wife, or mother…) but I did my best with what I had that day. That is all God, my students, husband, daughter, life, and (myself) can ask of me.
2. When I make a decision about something, I do it and feel good about it (no ruminating about what I did or did not do).
3. When someone says something that stings me, I step back (and breathe) and try to remember that we all have our subjective points of view. What someone says about me is not set in stone. It has more to do with them than about me, anyway.
4.Go with it! The “perfect” teacher, mother, wife, Christmas holiday…is an elusive myth. What is “perfect” anyway? Real people are not air brushed, things do not always go according to plan, the perfectly planned lesson, dinner party, wedding, or vacation are going to be what they are going to be- no matter how meticulously we planned for them! We need to accept this about life and be more flexible.
5. I like Dale Carnegie’s idea of living in day-tight compartments. Live today.
Life, one day at a time. That’s it.
Thank you for this new day. I will do my best to be supportive of others. Please help me to remember that it is important for me to be kind and forgiving of myself as well.
When I am feeling stressed today, may I remember to breathe and not take it all too seriously.
When I have an opportunity to do so, may I compliment and affirm at least one person I encounter today.
May I find the time to rest…laugh….create….
I am doing my best. I really am. I appreciate your gentle guidance and being at my side and in my heart, always.
If you are stressed and feeling anxious, try doing these five things for fast relief:
2. Spend some time outdoors
3. Go to the gym and workout!
4. In your journal write down what is stressing you. It may not seem so bad once you get it written down on paper.
5. Remember, “this too shall pass”
Did I mention to breathe?
Stress at work can be a huge cause of anxiety and loss of sleep.
In today’s business world, employees are expected to take on more and make themselves more available after hours.
There is great pressure on public employees as well (local government, public school teachers, etc.). The current economy has left many things unfunded and yet the workers are expected to do more with less.
If you are a stay at home parent, you may not have a job outside the home currently, but you are certainly working too! You have the demands of raising your precious babies, keeping the household running smoothly, and trying to take care of yourself.
Here are a few ideas for all of us (no matter what kind of work we do) to deal with the stress and pressures we are facing these days:
1. Write a list of a few things down the night before or first thing in the morning of the most important things you need to get done during your day. Don’t make the list too long! Cross them off as you accomplish them. Tell yourself that if you at least do the task on top you will have had a successful and productive day.
2. Take breaks throughout your day. Take a walk. Stretch and get away from your desk and computer for a few minutes. If you are a stay at home mom, sign up at a gym that has a nice nursery and give yourself an hour to work out or attend a fitness class.
3. Remember: you can’t please everyone. Don’t even try!
4. Do your best not to take work home with you. In my experience, we train others how to treat us. In other words, if employers or family members know they can encroach upon your personal time they will.
5. Watch our modern devices such as cell phones, Ipads, laptops, etc. These days we can stay plugged in 24/7 if we choose. These time bandits can really suck up a lot of our time and life.
6. Always remember that tomorrow is another day. What you don’t get done today? Don’t sweat it. The world will continue to function. Rest and sleep well. You did your best today.