I’m super stressed right now.
For the first time in 20 years, I have a new boss and his style is very different from my previous boss. Some of the changes he is making are in direct conflict with what I know is good practice but they’re being required right now which puts me in a difficult position. We’ve also had some health struggles and loss in our family. To top it off, we’re all living in a world of conflict, uncertainty, massive natural disasters and injustice.
It’s enough to make you crawl under the covers in a little ball.
We’ve all dealt with stress at one time or another; for some, it comes and goes and for others, it’s ever-present. Stress is a fact of life. You can’t avoid loss and fear– they’re inescapable. So, what matters is how you roll with it.
Here are a few little tips to help you begin to build peace and resiliency in stressful times…
1. Practice habits of gratitude
When things get really rough, I turn to my Gratitude Journal. It’s a bright orange book full of things for which I am grateful. I have found that when I concentrate on the things that make me happy–the things that I’m grateful for– I automatically feel at least a little bit better. When my new boss is getting me down, I remind myself that I am lucky to have a job in the first place. A job that helps keep my family in a safe home with healthy food on the table. There are SO many people who would jump at the chance to have my worst day.
2. Listen to uplifting music
I am known for making mixes for people who are experiencing high levels of stress. Music is an incredible motivator. Here are a few of my favorite songs about keeping the faith– here, here and here. Print out the lyrics and belt them out when you need a boost.
3. Hang out with kids.
I’ve been teaching kindergarten for 24 years. There’s a reason I have chosen to keep the company of five year olds for nearly a quarter century– they ROCK. Kids don’t generally get stressed the way adults do. They don’t take things as seriously and find joy much more easily than we do. Follow their lead. Jump in puddles. Scream in a pillow. Then use that pillow to start a cathartic pillow fight.
4. Find a way to surround yourself with big things
For me, it’s walking in a nearby forest or through the tall buildings in the city. You can look out over a valley or cast your gaze up into the night sky. Perspective is a powerful thing. When you are surrounded by big things, it helps you realize that your stress is just a tiny part of the wonderful Universe in which we live.
5. Do good for others
There are SO many who struggle in this world. Countless organizations who need support to help others in need. Make donations, volunteer, reach out, join the fight. Doing something good always makes you feel good and it also helps give you some perspective on what really matters in this world.
6. Reach out and connect
Anyone who loves you has an investment in your happiness. Reach out to someone you trust to listen and give you a boost. If no one seems available, here’s a number that will always be answered by someone who will listen. Don’t go this alone. The load is always easier to carry with the right help.
Scrapbooking is awesomely therapeutic when you need a place to put your feelings. I always feel better after I put together a layout.
Two other quotes to remember:
This too shall pass.
Our fears are more numerous than our dangers and we suffer more in our imagination than in reality. -Seneca
I hope you have peace and joy in your life. xo