Feeling Stressed? Try This.

I’m guessing that most of you are pretty stressed right now. 

For many teachers and for college students it’s the end of a semester packed full of final projects and papers and the stress of giving and/or receiving grades. 

For moms, it’s the holidays and, as I mentioned last week, the pressure of creating perfect holiday happiness is most often felt heavily by moms, perhaps even more so for stay-at-home moms.

And some of you are teachers AND moms!  You might even be a teacher, a mom AND a student – the trifecta of stress at this time of year.

So, this week I thought I’d provide a few stress relieving tips:

1)     Watch this SNL skit which makes fun of political liberals post-election in the best possible way – fun for conservatives and liberals alike.  Brooklyn in a Bubble.  I was laughing outloud.

2)    If you’re feeling overwhelmed—set a timer for 15 minutes and do a “brain dump.”  Write down every possible “to do” that comes to mind.  It seems counter-intuitive to think that seeing everything you have to do on paper will help you feel less overwhelmed, but it actually helps your brain to relax because it doesn’t have to REMEMBER IT ALL on top of trying to do it. (Thanks Anna Kunnecke and the Queen Sweep for introducing me to this idea!)

3)    Brain dump part 2:  Cross 5 things off your list without doing them – delegate them, drop them or put them on a list labeled “someday/maybe, but not right now.”  I know you want to do it ALL, but YOU CAN’T.  And you will feel way better if the stuff that falls off your list is stuff you decided didn’t matter too much and the stuff that stays is stuff that matters most to you.  

4)    Brain dump part 3:  Highlight the three top items or projects you don’t want to screw up even if everything else falls apart in the week (like maybe you get that horrible stomach flu that’s going around).  Write these three items or projects down where you can check in on them regularly (your phone, post-its on the mirror, your planner).  These become your definition of, “Well done – you are killin’ it!” – JUST THESE.  Regardless of what else you aren’t doing well. 

5)    If there isn’t anything on your list that feels like super-fun for you ADD THAT IN to your top 3 list AND DO IT THIS WEEK. Up for a challenge?  Make it something that you do daily OR that takes up a whole half a day. (Yes, Moms, this is for you too, even during the holidays.  No, I'm not kidding. Add in one thing that is what YOU want to do just for fun, just for you, THIS week.  It must take at least 15 minutes.)  Scary I know, but it’s crazy how it can help you do the other stuff, yell less and require less chocolate or alcohol to get through the day.

And if you want more support, I’ve got a Stressbusters mini-coaching package with your name on it.  I’ve designed it for teachers especially, but can easily individualize it for you if you are a mom or student—for the same price. 

Hang in there.  You only need to manage this moment right now.  Nothing more.

See there!  You just did it!  You’re killin’ it!

Here’s to thriving!