Managing Stress and Taking Care of Yourself

The Forest for the Trees

The Forest for the Trees

I bit off a pretty big mouthful this spring. The ninja and I are buying our first house and we play on a coed soccer team. I’m training for my first half Ironman, was just invited to sit on the board of advisors for the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship and I read charter school applications for a non-profit organization that coaches people hoping to open successful schools in the Denver area. I also have a full time job and a few friends I like to spend time with once in a while. Most of the time, I juggle my schedule pretty well. Recently, I feel like I’m taking on a little water – and that’s not just because I’m spending more time in a pool then I ever thought I would. Here are a few things I’ve learned about managing stress and taking care of myself. If only I could practice them a little more consistently!

  • Be honest – It is sometimes difficult to tell the truth knowing you might hurt the other person, or know you are going to say something the other person may not want to hear. Being honest is important because if I’m not honest I continue to feel a lot of tension the other person may not even know about and I get resentful in the long run.
  • If you need time, say so – I’ve been able to cut back on a lot of emotional stress by giving myself some time before answering an email, returning a voicemail, or simply saying, “I’m not sure, let me think about that and get back to you” during a conversation.
  • Say no - Don’t overbook yourself. I used to have so many commitments that if something didn’t go as planned, that event would start a domino effect that caused me to fall back on everything else.
  • Prioritization – If you are really busy, make sure you prioritize what is really important to you. I feel awful if I don’t exercise so I always (as much as possible) make sure I get in a workout. Also, I’ve got some pretty ambitious (at least for me) athletic goals this year and you can’t cram fitness so I need to stay on top of this.
  • Be your own best friend – Treat yourself with the same kindness you would your best friend. Push yourself, but know when you need to take a break and watch a few episodes of Archer.
  • Say yes – to back rubs when they are offered. Or, a glass of wine with a friend.
  • Be excited – it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees when you are busy and stressed, but it’s important to try to notice and enjoy the little things because they are the ones I end up remembering.

What are your tips for managing stress and taking care of yourself?

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