6 Ideas I’m Utilizing to Stop Stressing and Focus More on ME
I wear a lot of hats, as women often do. I’m a mom, daughter, partner, friend, entrepreneur…the list goes on. Some days are more challenging than others. Some weeks are almost unbearable. This past week, in particular, was a rough one for me trying to juggle everything I have going on.
I’m a work in progress, but I continuously take baby steps to improve myself and my life and keep my stress levels down. So, I thought it would be a great idea to share with you some of my stress-dissolving tips that help me keep my head in the game.
Step Back from the Digital World
I’ll admit it: I have a problem with picking up my phone as soon as I wake up. I feel the need to check my email, client messages, etc. before I even grab my coffee. The problem with that is, if there are any less-than-awesome messages, my whole day gets off on the wrong foot. Instant anxiety.
By being basically on-call 24/7, I’ve shown my clients that I’m here. All. The. Time. As a business owner and mom, I know it’s one of the worst things I can do to myself. I know I need boundaries to not be as overwhelmed or feel resentful of the people I’m trying to help.
So, I’m committing to breaking free of my phone, social media, and email more often – especially first thing in the morning. The average American spends more than ten hours a day staring at a screen, and I don’t want to be a part of that statistic. It’s not just unhealthy for your body; it’s also unhealthy for your mind.
Here’s what I’m doing instead:
- Listening to uplifting music
- Reading scripture
- Loving on my beautiful babies
- …and anything else that sets the right tone for the day!
Schedule Time Blocks
As moms, we seem to think we can handle it all. Drive my kid here at this time, pick him up in a couple of hours, squeeze some dinner and work in between, rinse and repeat. But, without having some sort of plan for my day, I can become frazzled and burnt out quickly. OR, I flounder. Yep, I’m a flounder-er when I have no plan. I’ll literally go around the house trying to figure out what I’m supposed to be doing and then get very little done at all.
Entrepreneurs, especially, can have a tough time separating work from personal time. Honestly, it’s one of my biggest struggles.
So, I’ve started literally scheduling my work time, just like I would if I was employed. It’s not always easy to stick to, but I’m trying. I know that scheduling time blocks will 1) keep me more productive during work time, and 2) help me disconnect from work so that I don’t feel like I’m working constantly.
Learn to Say “No”
Over committing yourself is too easy. You say yes to your kids, significant other, co-workers, clients, parents, and even your dog all day long. Learning to say “no” is one of the most freeing things you can do for yourself.
You are in control of your time and you should make others aware of that. That is exactly the reason I’m trying to work on cutting off my work time at a certain point in the day. I don’t want clients thinking they can get a hold of me at 10 PM and I’ll be there waiting. As an entrepreneur, for me, it’s about finding the balance between providing top of the line service and personal wellness.
Sometimes, you just have to say no to people. If it’s not something that will make you happy, more productive, or better in some way, then it may be time to give it the boot.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Get help when you need it. Seriously. This is something that I do not give in on and I’m not scared to do.
I actually hired a nanny at one point who helped with laundry, housework, and shuttling my youngest to his after-school activities and friends’ houses. I hired her because I knew I needed help. She supported me in all my Mom efforts and made me feel less guilty about working so hard. She recently retired and I haven’t hired anyone else yet, so that’s been tough.
Then there’s housekeeping. Yep, I have a housekeeper, too, who comes twice per month. Cleaning my house is just not something I want to spend my time on or stress over, so I outsource it (of course, I asked my husband if he wanted to do it first. That was a big “NO!”).
Point is: if you think you need help, you probably do. Don’t be ashamed to get it where possible.
Stay in Control of Your Stressors
Stress has this annoying way of taking control of you. If you remember that you are in control of your stress, though, you might see that you can handle it a little better.
Sometimes, something as simple as scrolling through Facebook on your lunch break can compound your stress if you happen to see something that makes you anxious. Or maybe it’s reading the newspaper in the morning.
Small stressors add up. The more you can part with, the more you become in control of your stress instead of letting it control you. Another solid practice is to take quick breaks throughout the day to walk around, breathe, get outside, listen to your favorite song or whatever can bring you back to center.
Make Time for You – No Ifs, Ands, or Buts
Finally, we’ve reached my favorite tip of all: make time for you. I know it’s challenging, but it’s necessary to help us disconnect from stress and reconnect with ourselves. Don’t make any excuses – just do it!
I suffer from chronic neck pain, so I make time to get a massage several times a month. It’s something I don’t give up, no matter how busy I am. I use this time to reflect on my life, feel grateful about what I have, and even pray. I love having this me-time to unwind and let the positive vibes flow.
What’s your biggest challenge you face in your life right now and what steps are you taking to handle it? What do you do to de-stress from all of life’s stressors? I’d love to hear your thoughts; leave me a comment!