“This is how it feels to live my life: scattered, fragmented and exhausting. I am always doing more than one thing at a time and feel I never do any one particularly well. I am always behind and always late, with one more thing and one more thing and one more thing to do before rushing out the door.” – from Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte
Sound familiar? Author Brigid Schulte could be speaking for any of us. It is easy to identify with her description of life as a busy career woman, wife and mother of two. The feeling of being overwhelmed by responsibilities and unable to cope with never-ending demands seems to have become the norm for American’s working women.
When I talk to professional women, two themes are universal:
1. Women feel battered by constant and unrelenting stress.
2. Women have a desperate desire for more leisure time.
Finding solutions to both issues is critical to your health and well-being. Stress can negatively impact both your mind and body. (For information on stress see HelpGuide.org.) Planning more leisure time into your day can help decrease stress; but where do you find the time?
Use the following tips to pull the plug on daily stressors and carve out more “me time”:
- Stop the replay. Replaying stressful situations over and over in your mind keeps stress alive. If you have a disagreement with your husband or a colleague at work, deal with it and force yourself to move on mentally. Because it’s hard to stop thinking about something, replace negative with positive thoughts. Take a short break to meditate. Use the guided visualizations in my online Meditation Room to replace agitated thoughts with thoughts that are calming and relaxing.
- Don’t procrastinate. Putting things off increases stress as deadlines loom. Set a timeline and keep to it. Tackling difficult projects in stages can make them seem less intimidating.
- Declutter. Clutter adds to stress. Declutter your home or office in stages by devoting 20 or 30 minutes a day to getting organized.
- Be on time. Rushing around when you’re running late and being late for important appointments generate stress. Don’t over-commit your time and schedule extra preparation time.
Visit my website for more stress-busting times and to receive a free Stress Management Tool Kit.