We're all on board with "needing to reduce stress" but just saying “go meditate” may be supremely unhelpful. Many, including myself, need some baby steps or guidance and that may not address the source of our stress.
So, what can we do...
STEP 1: IDENTIFY YOUR ROOT
ANXIETY: Looking too far in the future and being unable to draw focus into what is actually happening now.
OVERWHELM: Too much to do, not enough time and feeling like drowning.
STEP 2: DEAL WITH THE PRESENT
What makes you breathe deeper? What things bring your focus inward & shut everything else out? The state I enter when I'm doing a jigsaw puzzle is absorbed, but relaxed and free. There are TONS of different options: play with pups, walk (unplugged), sit outside, journal, box breathe, meditate, heck, even crochet.
Break down your tasks into WAY smaller tasks and focus on ONE at a time. A brain dump may help OR you may just need to ask "What is the MOST important thing I need to do right now?" then break that thing into 3 pieces. Set a timer for each part and block out EVERYTHING ELSE - phone on do not disturb, notifications off, no social media.
STEP 3: SYSTEMIZE YOUR RESPONSE
Did you take the Recovery Quiz from yesterday's post? These are SYSTEMS. They're failsafes for helping stress get less of a foothold in your life by draining your cup both WHEN you need it and BEFORE you need it.
If you took the quiz and got less than a 12, you have some EASY wins ahead. Pick ONE activity, schedule 10 minutes each day for the next week, and then add another each 1-2 weeks. Avoid picking "should's" from the list & start with what sounds most fun.
Higher score? Time to level up. What action would elicit the greatest benefit? Smash the hell out of it for at least 1 week, re-assess, & upgrade again.