In this day and age, if you ask anyone how they are doing, most often you’ll hear, “I’m so busy!” At what point did we start to glorify being busy? I talk to hundreds of working people and I see how overwhelmed people are. They barely have time for a phone call. We’ve short circuited communication down to 140 characters through Twitter and people don’t talk on the phone anymore—they text.
There’s nothing wrong with that….other than we are losing our human connection with each other. Perhaps that is contributing to high levels of depression and anxiety as well.
There are so many people that have their day booked full with meetings that they end up doing their “normal” work in the evenings when the kids are in bed. And then they drop into bed in exhaustion, only to start the day again. That’s not living. This, to me, is insanity! One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
So what are we to do? I understand why I often hear from my entrepreneur friends, “Oh I escaped the corporate world”….and then a year or two later, many of these brave souls are stressed out, struggling to make it work. These entrepreneurs often have created a job for themselves with their business and are again overwhelmed with all the work they have to do.
Overwhelm, which leads to stress, has become an epidemic! And we need to do something about it fast because it’s robbing your joy.
Being overwhelmed or stressed out is not a sustainable lifestyle for you, your family, your children, your marriage, and your employer (even if that is you).
Stress costs companies over $300 BILLION annually in the US alone. Here are two screen shots of searches about stress.
We KNOW it’s not good for us. So what can we do?
- Take control: The first thing is to become aware of just how stressed or overwhelmed you are and then make the decision to do something about it.
- Identify those areas that are most stressful for you by making a list of them and
- Figure out strategies to deal with those areas.
People experience stress in different ways so you are going to have to figure out the best strategies for you.
Here is a simple list of 10 super easy things you can do to create less stress and overwhelm and bring more joy into your life:
- Book 15-30 minutes extra before and/or after when you book a meeting so you have both time to prepare and time to do the follow up afterwards. If you don’t have any follow up, then you’ve just gained some time. This is a great trick and helps avoid those meetings you really don’t need.
- Turn what meetings you can into walk and talks. Who says you have to sit inside, especially on a nice day. Some meetings with colleagues are great for updates and then just take a walk together instead.
- Exercise. Exercise. This needs to be a priority. It’s one of the best ways to reduce stress, gets more oxygen into your system that helps to remove toxins in your body, keeps you limber, flexible, strong…there are far too many benefits. So figure out what type of exercise you like and just do it! Regularly!
- Three Deep Breaths several times a day. When we are stressed, our bodies contract and the breathing gives you more oxygen, brings in mindfulness, and gives you a bit of space to consciously relax.
- Meditate. This again is a muscle that just calming your mind for 5 – 30 minutes a day helps get you in tune inside. Great ideas and just resting the mind does wonders for your well-being. There are no right or wrong ways to meditate—just sitting in nature is a form of mediation as well.
- Get out into nature! Find a place where you can just be with nature to watch the birds or the leaves blowing in the breeze or listen to the waves. It doesn’t matter but get out there. We will naturally get into sync with the earth when we remove ourselves from the bustle.
- Eating organic foods helps to keep your immune system strong so that you stay healthy. My secret is having a green smoothie every morning.
- Sleep enough. This is another area that is being compromised often. We lose our levels of productivity and capabilities to think clearly if we are chronically tired.
- Turn off the devices. We are now connected 24/7 to some sort of device, which means it’s hard to turn our minds off. This requires some will power and stamina but it is well worth the effort. Don’t sleep with your phone by your head. Use a good old fashioned alarm clock instead. We are bombarded by the electromagnetic frequencies of all these devices and we have yet to see the impact on a long term basis.
- Laughing is one of the best stress relievers. It boosts all sorts of great hormones, releases stress, helps you sleep better and supposedly even lengthens you life. Who really knows? But you know it feels good. So do this as much as you can too.