Finding Time for Ourselves
How these simple steps can boost your happiness during Stress Awareness Month
Jean Edelman: Great to be with you this week. Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? That is wonderful. NIH has devoted the month to focusing on stress. This is our disease of the 21st century. Life is getting faster and more demanding, and stress just feels like we’re treading water to get through our day. We never seem to finish and we never get ahead. But, you know, stress is so harmful to our mind, our body and our soul.
So I want to do a simple action item for the week. First, go read about stress. Go to the NIH website. They’ve got some wonderful tips and YouTube videos to help us through this month – I think in every month – but specifically April.
The action item for this week is try to mono task. Try to do one thing at a time. Let it have a beginning, a middle and an end. How about we look at our week and really schedule our time to shop, to cook some food, to have our meetings, but really schedule out and then schedule out time for ourselves. Ask ourselves can we delete, delegate or delay the task? Schedule our quiet and our downtime and find mindless activities like gardening or painting, music, something creative so we can turn our brain off. This gives our body a chance to reset and rest.
The NIH has a great website with lots of wonderful information. What they’re recommending is to have gratitude in our day. They’re recommending that we relax, we find time to exercise and walk outside, we find time to acknowledge our feelings and journal and track our thoughts.
So my word of the week is STRESS.
The S is for Stop. Just stop. Program in our micro moments to just do nothing. It’s okay if you’ve just got to stand there and look out the window and breathe and appreciate the nice day. Just stop.
The T is to Tend to, care for ourselves. We can take control of the stress in our life and our day. We’ve got to care for ourselves, create a self-care routine.
And the R is for Rapture, to be carried away by extreme happiness. This would be wonderful. Every day. A joyful day is a memorable day. A joyful day is a day without stress. We need to decide what’s important and what fills us with joy and what it is that we should be doing.
The E is to Eliminate. If it doesn’t bring us joy. Eliminate it. Push it to the future. Just say no. Our days, we only have so many. We need to protect our health and learn to have boundaries.
The first S is to Save, to conserve our energy. Our time is precious. Be purposeful in our activities. Decide who we’re going to spend our time with. What brings us joy.
The second S is to Savor, to experience, to delight. We want to savor our time with fulfilling activities, and self-care allows us to have that perspective and to be available for others.
So look at the stress in your life. What is it that’s creating stress? Really, look at it. And decide how you want to deal with it. Have a great week, everyone.