Sunday, January 15, 2012

Strategies for Handling Stress

Why is it that the vacation calm can go away so fast when you get home and back into the demands of life? I always tell myself on vacation to just stay calm and relaxed like I am on vacation - but within hours of being home and back in the demands of day to day life, can feel that calm vanish and the stress seeping back in! The whole lump of life is at times overwhelming - especially when you see it all at once as a huge boulder of demands crushing you under it's weight. And I hate when I become this stressed out person. I am no fun to be with or be around, not for me or anyone else. I can feel frozen. I am not doing my best work. I get angry very fast, and I know I have lost my connection to God and blocked love from coming in or going out.

But if I see this boulder as just a collection of pebbles and just take out one handful a day, it is all just fine and very do-able. I can stay calm, get rid of the stress and anxiety, and just joyfully do what is in front of me in that one handful. I enjoy it all so much more and can be so much more present to the people around me through each day.

The trick is the mental ability to pulverize that bolder into its corresponding pile of pebbles. When the boulder is upon you it is nearly impossible to break it up. But here are some things I have found that can help crack the power of the boulder, guide me in selecting the right pebbles, shift my perspective and help me to enjoy the moments of my day rather then spend them lost to myself, others and God through stress and anxiety!

  • Look at my calender and pick just the 1-3 things that need to be done next.
  • Clean up my desk
  • Make progress on one thing 
  • Tell my family I am stressed out - just claim it so I can let go of it. 
  • Say a prayer and invite God to help me let go and change my perspective 
  • Breathe 
  • Cry 
  • Write 
  • Make a list of all that needs to be done 
  • Ask for help 
  • Remind myself of what really matters, love, all the rest is just noise 
  • Let go 
  •  Accept what is 
  • Look for the places I see lack - usually it is a lack of time, but seeing where the lack is can help 
  • Remind myself I will be okay - it won't all get done - but the most important things will get done and the rest will just wait

What things do you do that help you to shift your mental perspective when you all ramped up and all stressed out? We all have the power to choose our own perspective!

Christine D'Amico

1 comment:

Donna Turner said...

My current favorite stress reliever is 10 minutes of focusing on breathing. More specifically, "breathe in God, breathe out stress."