I teach yoga and I used to be a life coach. It stands to reason that stress should be easy for me to handle. If you listen closely, you'll hear everyone who knows me laughing hysterically. I work well under pressure. I don't deal well with stress. I'm living proof that the two are not mutually exclusive. I do yoga, I try to meditate, I exercise, I eat clean and I take my vitamins. So what gives with the stress?
Instead of going completely crazy, I'm looking at it like this: Every day brings a new set of opportunities and challenges. Stress is a fact of life. You'll see countless books, articles, CDs, and workshops on how to eliminate it. Eliminate it? Give me a break. Stress is necessary. I'm not talking about the disgustingly high levels of stress many of us carry around on a daily basis. *raises hand with guilt* I'm talking about the ebb and flow of good times and stressful times. It's cyclical, which gives me hope.
I don't know about any of you, but I always learn from my stressful times. I've learned a LOT over the past couple months. Including how necessary it is to take a day or two off each week. I've also learned that friends and family have a difficult time understanding when I say, "Sorry, I can't go do that because I'm working," or "I'm not answering the phone because I'm on the floor in the fetal position having waking nightmares about deadines," they don't know I mean it literally.
I love my career, stress and all. I love that I gain a clearer perspective with each stressful day. I love that I had a brief affair with coffee, but learned we just couldn't get along. I love that I have my yoga mat to go to when I need a little break. I love that my kids and husband are so understanding of my 12-17 hour days on the computer. I don't know how to live a life 100% free of stress, but I don't think that's the point. The idea is to take each day, and roll with it. Stress happens, but it doesn't have to derail you. Here's what helps me:
2) Don't forget to eat--proper nutrition is more than dark chocolate, coffee and more coffee.
3) Decompress with a show--my guilty pleasures are reruns of Whose Line Is It Anyway and Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
4) Exercise--this does not include walking to the coffee pot for a refill, or chasing magpies out of your garden because they keep eating the damn...*inhale, exhale* Did I mention breathing also works for anger management?
5) Sleep--I haven't mastered this one yet, but I hear it's important. If you get 8 hours a night, let me know if it helps.
What is your best stress-reducing ritual?