Okay ladies, here are my last “real time” stress busters (for this week anyway).
1. Stress scenario: There is not enough time in the day to get everything done.
2. Solution: This is a tough one, but we must tackle it.
Identify time wasters:
- Cut out TV. Completely. Even get rid of your TV. We did in 2004. We only recently got a small one so our kids can watch their DVD’s. Public television is the only channel my children watch now. My husband and I only watch State of the Union addresses, or in the case of an election year, we watch the political debates. Instead of wasting our time with TV, if we want to watch something important, we will order it via our Netflix account. In addition, there is no TV during any family time, such as dinners, and no more than 2 PBS shows or 1 movie (i.e. the time it takes to watch a movie) a day.
- Cut back on Internet. We connect to the world via the Internet, so we get what we need and not what we don’t (ads, silly pop culture, violence on the evening news, etc.). I use the Internet for reading news, work, shopping, and some social and professional media (once/week usually). However we can still have the tendency to surf the net too much. Now we observe the following: No Internet or computers during the dinner hour, between 5-8 pm. No Internet during any family time. This means no texting, no cell phones, no TV, no outside interruption. Same goes for email. As I mentioned previously, try to only check your email two times a day. Hovering over your email all day is not productive.
- Get rid of your land line & then don’t answer your cell phone. I stand by my Grandfather Garner’s philosophy. “Say what you need to say, and get off the phone.” Yes, even as a teenager, I stood firm on this philosophy. If you do not need a land line, then get rid of it. It will also save you some money each month. I only use my cell phone when I absolutely must. My whole family knows I do not like to use the phone. Now my cell phone rings only when the caller has something important to say.
- Don’t buy tabloids or fluff magazines. Yes, I have been known to read a copy of House Beautiful as intensely as I teach a yoga class. However, our society should know better than to fuel pop culture demand for gossip magazines. You know, the ones that discuss celebrity’s private lives and make us feel either good or bad about our self image. It’s easy. Just don’t do it. Put that money you would spend into your children’s’ stock portfolios.
- Don’t overdo a task. This is similar to talking on the phone. Only do it if you must. Think about what you are going to do before you are going to do it. For example, making a grocery list. I have this nifty list that divides whole foods into categories, so you can check a box and then go straight to that section in the store. No time wasted and no impulse buys.
- Get rid of the clutter. This applies at several levels.
- Don’t bring junk mail into the house. Stand at your recycling bin and toss it as soon as you take it out of the mailbox. We all know physical clutter, this includes extra body weight, can create mental clutter. Better yet, take action to reduce or eliminate receipt of junk mail altogether.
- Get rid of one item for each new item you purchase. This especially applies to clothing and furnishings. Stop consumerism.
- Don’t have a junk drawer. I don’t. Every drawer in my house has a purpose. There is no need to waste a drawer, or any storage space, to hold junk. Either the junk can be re purposed, given away to someone who won’t consider it junk, recycled, or trashed.
- Make things hover. I know this one is strange, but it is my favorite. My husband can vouch for that. Carefully plan your rooms. The more things you have sitting on the floor, the more cluttered (and less usable) a room feels. For anything that remains in one spot more than a week, you need a designated place and storage method for it. Mail, laundry (dirty and clean and the stuff that is in the “holding” area to be put away, ironed, or taken to the cleaners), reusable grocery totes, hats, shoes, wine. I try to create proper storage so things can “hover” – that way, I can whisk around the room and tidy up in a flash. Shockingly, I have no problem with my family, including my husband, leaving things all over the house. If you create a practical, user friendly method for organization, then it will be easier for your family to use that that to leave it on the floor. Trust me. Making things hover really works.
1. Stress: Immediate overload. You need help now!
- 10 minutes of Yoga. I used to practice for 90 minutes a day on average. Now, I actually practice for no more than 30 minutes 4-6 times a week, and am in better shape. (yes, I know. less is more.) Some days though, especially when my children were infants, I only got 10 minutes. It still got my pre-baby body back, and I had instant stress relief. Follow me on You Tube to get fit.
- Time away from kids, or your job, etc. This can be anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 days! I know it is obvious, but as women, we never have time away. Take it today. Recharge.
- Pray. Return to your spiritual roots. Faith and hope are our greatest weapons against burnout and stress. Believe. Meditate. Begin your day with hope. You can do it anywhere.
- Volunteer. The surest way to help yourself is to help others. I observe my boundaries (see day 1 and 2 blog), but because I have identified and eliminated time wasters, I still have time to give. And, I am teaching my children a valuable lesson about helping those in need.
- Focus on relationship building. We are not created to be independent, solitary, isolated creatures. Human beings were created for relationship. Cultivate them.
- Count your blessings. Recognize milestones. Look at what you have accomplished, rather than what you have not. You are amazing!
3. Overall Benefits: More time for You. More time for Others. A Greater Appreciation for the human race. A second (or third) chance to Live and Love Life. A great way to Live in Gratitude.
Yes, I am practicing what I preach.
“See” you in 1 week.