That Darn Stress - How to Manage that Bugger
“Worrying is a like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” -Anonymous This quote pretty much sums it up.
It has taken me YEARS to even make an attempt to manage my stress levels. In the past I would convince myself that I was working on coping mechanisms, but the truth is that I wasn’t proactively doing anything. Just thinking about it at best.
When stress takes over, I tend to bottle it up until I’m like a coke bottle that’s been shaken before being opened and completely spilling everywhere. And I am ashamed to say that I take it out on those closest to me. I’ve always just overlooked stress-management. But after personally seeing it effect my well-being and health I decided it was time to take action.
Most of you know by now that Tyler and I have been long distance our entire relationship, seeing each other every six weeks for four days at best. This is another story for another day, but the entrepreneurial journey is a big one. It’s full of incredibly high highs, and some very difficult lows. My personality is the type that I am my own worst critic and expect the unrealistic perfection (although I must say I’m doing so much better lately). When stress from work piles up I don’t talk about it, I bottle it. And when T and I are finally together I often take it out on him.
The ideal version of me does not do this. I finally took major action to grab ahold of this so that I not only live a happier life, but I’m a better fiance to T, a better daughter, friend, sister, aunt, coach, stranger you see in the grocery store...you name it.
I’m the first to say that I’m far from perfect, and grabbing a hold of stress, overwhelm, and anxiety is not an overnight ordeal. I still find myself feeling like stress is starting to drive my life. The difference, now, is that I can recognize it and take constructive action.
what helped me:
1. Identify it
And I don’t just mean, “I get stressed because of work.” Get specific. What at work? What specific situations, people, times of the day, etc? Notice other times you may not realize. When you haven’t slept enough? When you haven’t eaten well? When you haven’t moved your body lately? Begin to get crystal clear on WHEN you get stressed, the people, environment, and situational details so that you can see it coming and prepare for it.
2. Live Intentionally
I’m a major worrier. Something I’ve worked hard to overcome is living in the future, often using the phrase “I don’t have time” especially for social or R&R experiences. The ideal version of me lives a well-balanced life, so I need to MAKE time for these things. When I do make time to hang out with family or friends, or do something mindless and fun my work and health improve tenfold. In order to be successful in those areas, fulfillment and happiness is a requirement.
Every Sunday I map out my week. I plan everything that I need to do and everything that I want to do. And each day I prioritize and live with intention. BLocking out my schedule has been a key component to success in this area as well. Click HERE to read more on this.
I am not normally one to just divert to a supplement to help with something like this. But I’d decided I needed the extra help and have seen quite a bit about it over the past few months. I have been taking it daily for six weeks and have noticed drastic differences. Ashwaganda is a 100% natural supplement made from the plant, ashwaganda, which makes this girl happy! Click here for the one that I use.
4. This one will shock you
Just kidding. No it won’t. Not at all actually. Eating well and exercising. It is SO key to feeling your best, and keeping your mood and energy high. I don’t think I need to go into too much detail with this one, do I? Exercise releases endorphins or the happy hormone. Eating well keeps your blood sugar and hunger hormones in check so you have the energy and focus to devote all of your energy to the present moment.
That’s it! I hope this is helpful for you. What is your go-to stress relief technique?