How are things? I hope you’ve had a chance to evaluate your goals over these last few weeks to determine if they are in alignment with what matters most to you. What are you working towards? What progress have you made? I would love to hear from you!
Often times, when we engage in something that is meaningful or important, we can experience feelings of stress and worry. I, for one, have felt an increase of stress over these last few weeks and most of it has been about the future, the unknown, or things completely out of my control. Not super productive.
So, instead of being filled with worry day after day, I asked myself what am I doing and thinking that’s causing it and how can I better manage it?
One of the primary reasons stress has been my sidekick as of late is avoidance (AKA procrastination). Although I am very passionate and excited about my goals, some of the work that is necessary in achieving these goals has been challenging, time consuming, and not always fun. Rather than focusing on the joy of the future outcome, I’ve chosen to stay stuck in the pain of the difficulty while simultaneously creating stories about why it’s too hard or that I’m not capable of such things.
In addition, although I gave you sage advice in the last newsletter about not filling your time with busy-ness, I fell into that trap. It’s easy (for me) to get caught up in the non-essentials because it strokes the old ego. Sometimes I forget that busy-ness doesn’t =personal value/worth. Unfortunately, not only does it create a longer to-do list (which really is a stress provoker all on its own) but it also keeps me away from those things that truly matter most causing major burn out and….well, stress.
So, what to do about it? Here are a few tips I have implemented (you knew they were coming):
- First and most important is to maintain a positive frame of mind, not only with the task at hand but also in your ability to complete it. In doing so, your quality of work will be greater and the process will be much more enjoyable. Part of this includes having a healthy balance between work and play. I tend to get sucked into what I’m doing telling myself I don’t have time for anything else in fear I’ll get further and further behind. Unless there will actually be consequences if you don’t hit a particular deadline, trust that you’re exactly where you need to be and listen to what your body (and mind) needs in that moment. Which leads me to my next point…
- Adjust your expectations and know your limitations. Be realistic with your time-frame and time management, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and allocate responsibilities to others if possible. Setting goals is great but we must factor in everything else that’s going on before placing unnecessary pressure on ourselves to hit an unrealistic deadline. The journey itself is just as important (if not more) than the outcome you’re trying to achieve.
- Prioritize what must be done first and take action steps each day, even if it’s small. To help with the avoidance factor, block out a time on your calendar daily with 1 task or set a timer (even if for just 10 minutes) to spend time working on it. This tricks your mind into just getting started-it alleviates the “pain” knowing that the “suffering” is limited. Chances are, you’ll actually end up spending more time than you allotted but the key is finding the motivation to begin.
- Last, but not least, make sure that when that stress and angst comes up, that you cope with it appropriately. It’s really easy to engage in those “quick-fix” behaviors that make us feel great in the moment but then cause regret, guilt, and dissatisfaction later on. Instead of eating copious amounts of junk food (this would be my normal go to), practice breathing, check your self-talk, connect with nature, meditate, listen to comedy…anything that will lift you up and get you back to that positive frame of mind. You’ll be much better off in the end.
Well, that’s it for now. Do you have any other tips and tricks? If so, shoot me a message! In the meantime, let’s all have a happy and stress free week. Because let’s face it….we’ve got this!
Until next time,