After my panic attack last week, I have been actively stopping myself from getting worked up over small things. I’ve realized what contributes to my stress and some things I can do to alleviate it.
But first, let’s talk lunch. I covered about 5 miles this morning running outside at the park, so I was craving my lunch early today. I made a pretty simple but always satisfying meal. I used a La Tortilla Factory 80 calorie tortilla to wrap up some low sodium turkey, muenster cheese, brown spicy mustard, and lettuce. I had some veggies and spinach and artichoke hummus on the side.
Now, onto the stress.
This weekend at my hair appointment, I was telling my hairdresser Heidi about my issues. We got to talking and exchanging some stories, but she said something that stuck with me.
“Nothing is ever as good or as bad as it seems.”
It’s funny because I notice that I always make things seem so much worse than they really are. When the situation is over and I look back, I think about how silly it was for me to get so flustered, but at the time it is so hard to realize. Conversely, we never really think about how not so great something that we looked forward to forever was. Sometimes I imagine a situation in my head like a new job or a night out that is coming up. When I am there, or after it’s over, it’s usually not what I expected. When it comes to new jobs, the grass isn’t always greener. You will have irks with every job you have. When it comes to nights out with your friends, you have to just enjoy the moment instead of thinking “what could make this more fun?”.
For both the good and the bad, I need to start taking things day by day, task by task. I usually think way too far in advance and end up with the stress of things that are due tomorrow or things I have to prepare for next week. I need to focus on “the now” and not the future so much. Yes, it is important to think ahead and make sure that you are on top of things. Heck, I have post it’s, lists, and notes in my phone about the most ridiculous things. You’d probably die laughing. But in general, things get done much more wholeheartedly when you are focusing on just that, and not 50 other things. If I stress myself out with too many tasks, it makes my work suffer because I try to rush and move onto the next things.
This week at work, I decided to focus on just that. I took a deep breath and really thought about my priorities, the timing, and the quality of my work. I took on each task, finished it with as much time as I needed to complete it neatly and correctly, and checked it off my list. It may be all mental, but it has helped tremendously these past two days. I need to think beforehand and really focus on NOW.
I’ve also realized in other activities, such as my daily workout, that I need to release pressure on myself. This morning, I wanted to sleep an extra 15 minutes, so I did! Instead of forcing myself to go to the gym, I felt like just running outside with no timing or pace. Whenever I go to the gym, my normal routine starts with some abs. If I run outside, I don’t feel the routine (pressure) kick in to do that. I just go with it! I mean, who wants to drop and do sit ups on the rocky ground anyway?
Lastly, I need to really focus on what makes me happy in life and make time for it. As soon as I get home, I am stressing about packing my lunch or doing a load of laundry. Joe will walk in the door from work and I am so tangled up in trying to check things off my to-do list that I forget to greet him with a kiss! If I was thinking straight, this always comes naturally. I like having things to look forward to, so I also am going to try to keep in mind things that are coming up in my life. I have an exciting weekend coming up with one of my best friends getting married. I have the Healthy Living Summit in August. I also have the DMB Caravan at the end of the summer. There are always things to look forward to to help get through a crazy work week!
I hope some of these tips help you guys handle stress. What are some things you do to alleviate stress?