Stop the World, I Need to Get Off

Life can be overwhelming at times. pressures of a fast paced career, trying to taking care of your family and of yourself can be very challenging.  Do you ever say to yourself, how can I do all of this?”

We often think that nurturing ourselves is selfish. Is it really?? I heard a quote from a a brilliant Zen Master that has been imprinted in my mind, “You Can’t Go Around In a Broken Boat and Pick Up Passengers.” Simple, yet profound and true. We can’t be our best selves for our family, our company, our friends if we don’t invest the time and energy to take care of our emotional and physical wellbeing. When we row forward at lightening speed all of the time, without a break, eventually we crash and burnout. Then we can’t really help anyone. As the world is spinning and changes occur, it’s even more important to secure your boat so that you can glide through the journey with more joy, ease and success. Here’s a few tips to keep your boat sturdy for the long haul:

  1. Plan. Time Investment: 15 minutes. Have you ever raced around in the morning with too much to do before getting out the door? Take some time at night to review your schedule. Check what you have planned for the next day and have everything packed to go. Reduce your stress level – When you’re racing around in the morning, it creates a frenetic pace for the day. Leave a little buffer time in between scheduled activities for the unexpected so that you can remain grounded.
  2. Get Out! Time Investment: 5 – 10 minutes. Have you ever noticed how being outside and just taking it all in helps to clear your head and shift your perspective?  If you are having a difficult day, go outside. It can help to increase your productivity. Even if it’s only for a brief period. Take a short walk. Breathe. Pay attention the environment around you – the sun, clouds, trees, the stars. Go back in and set the world on fire!
  3. Laugh! Laugh! And Laugh Some More. Time Investment: 5 minutes. – When was the last time you laughed at work? Or laughed with your spouse or children instead of getting upset? Sometimes we take ourselves so seriously. Pause and look at the humor in challenging situations. It can relieve stress, make you feel good and create positive energy for everyone around you. Do you remember laughing so hard that you cried? A man that I had I worked with, loved to poke fun at me. One day, after a stressful meeting, he plastered my office with 30 yellow sticky notes inscribed with positive affirmations that he had heard me say. When I first saw the notes, I was perplexed. Then when I read them, instead of getting offended, I laughed so hard that I cried. Just thinking about it, makes me laugh now.
  4. Be Quiet. Time Investment: 30 minutes. Meditate. Taking the time out to meditate, helps you to have more control over yourself, your feelings and your day. It helps to keep you balanced and calm, even while the world is moving rapidly around you. You’ll accomplish more and your boat will withstand the storms.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share? What to you do to stay centered and relieve stress?