Aaahhh, the three day weekend – the holy grail of working people everywhere. The time to relax, regroup and recharge…right? Well if you’re like me, it’s more likely that even though you’re walking away from the office, you’re walking right into a big list of home projects that have been lurking, just waiting to pounce on a three day weekend! The cunning patience of home projects always amazes me…
So how do you balance ‘work-work’ and ‘home-work’ without getting completely stressed out? Here are some ideas for creating a calmer life while juggling all of your many responsibilities:
• Good Scents… They don’t call it Aroma-Therapy for nothing! Surround yourself with good smells – keep them at your desk or in a drawer for a calming sniff. Scents like lavender, vanilla, eucalyptus and mint are known for their calming and revitalizing properties. Scented candles, potpourri and even hand lotion will all deliver that ‘whiff of calm’ that your senses need.
• Soothing Sounds… Your ears are hearing things even when you aren’t actually listening. Soft music, sounds of nature – birds, the ocean, wind and rain – can have a calming effect on a hectic day. A CD of nature sounds, a sound machine, soothing meditative or classical music will really help to keep you calm all day.
• Diaphragm Breathing… What do people typically say to someone that’s upset? “Take a deep breath”. So head your stress off ‘at the pass’ by paying attention to your breathing. Right now – does your belly actually swell and deflate or does your chest simply rise and fall? Unlike babies, adults tend to use their chest muscles rather than the diaphragm muscle when breathing. Using the chest muscles is tiresome because it can’t inflate the lungs as well as the diaphragm, and it also leads to less oxygen getting to the brain. Practice several deep diaphragm breaths and feel a new sense of calm.
• Exercise and Nutrition… I know, I know “Exercise and Eat Right” – we’ve heard it a hundred times. That’s because it’s true! Regular exercise and proper nutrition are VITAL to keeping YOU vital and less stressed. And for you creative thinkers – no, a brisk walk to the donut shop should not be considered exercise and nutrition.
• Assessing Control and Influence… There are things you can control or influence and things that you can’t. The feeling of being out of control is a big stress inducer for many of us, so by identifying the things that are or are not within your control or influence, you can really reduce your stress. This is an important tool in stress management, and it’s a key topic in our half day Stress Busters workshop.
So as you head into your three day weekend, keep some of these tips in mind! Any or all or them can really help keep stress levels down so you can better enjoy your life at work and at home! Happy Labor Day!
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