At the risk of sounding cliché, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”
I used to spend a lot of time and energy trying to reach equilibrium in life and chasing the status quo. I have now learned to live in a world of uncertainty and embrace “peaceful connected moments” as they arise.
What is a “peaceful connected moment” you ask?
When I first got remarried my husband did not understand what I was talking about when I kept referring to “peaceful connected moments“. That was before he moved in with my teenagers and we both entered the world of management.
Peaceful connected moments at work are the days you actually finish a project instead putting out fires. You catch up on your e-mails, instead of running from meeting to meeting, or you actually stop to eat lunch, instead of running down the hall while sipping soup out of a mug!
Peaceful connected moments at home are weeks in between college and job interviews for your young adults. Nights you go home after work instead of running to sports events, back to school nights or concerts. Months where you are not moving into or out of dorm rooms or apartments, your kids come home at a decent hour, and no one smashes the car!
They also consist of weekends when you have no scheduled plans and you can just lie on the couch in your pajamas reading and catch up on your favorite programs.
Let’s face it, if you are anything like me these “peaceful connected moments” described above are few and far between, and I only just brushed the surface!
So how can one cope with the frantic pace of a busy live? I suggest you “roll with it.”
Here are some of my favorite tips for coping with life’s crazy pace:
1. Embrace it – Life goes by so quickly; what I would not do now to go after work to watch my son run track or go to my daughters art show!
2. Learn something– often when work is most challenging I learn the most. Maybe you will need to take a stretch assignment, a new system will need to be created and put into place, or an important lesson needs to be learned for the future.
3. Reach Out– Find someone who has walked this path before and contact them. We all like to believe we are terminally unique, but chances are if you are feeling stressed out or overwhelmed others are feeling the same way. I always keep my personal network close at hand during these times to give me personal or professional advice, or talk me off the ledge if necessary!
4. Take a breath– I am a hugely into meditating. Now I know that this is not for everyone, but surely you can close your eyes and take a couple of breaths to re-center. Keep in mind that if you practice traditional meditation in a public setting or at the office people may think you are strange. (Take it from me and just breathe till you get home.)
5. Look your best– My Aunt Phyllis always used to say, “If you can’t play tennis, then get a great outfit and learn how to jump over the net.” Put your best self on display. Only you need to know that you feel overwhelmed. My sister in law always used to say to me, “You look great, what’s wrong?”
6. Exercise- this is the best method for keeping stress at bay. My assistant always takes a walk around the block at lunch before we start a new project.
7. Eat well– Although chocolate and potato chips (in that order) offer the perfect diet solution for most of what ails us, you will then be dealing with two issues. Better to eat well and look and feel your best, (see # 5). I highly recommend the running with soup diet. (See #6)
8. Read a book– I was raised to believe that this is the solution for everything; in this case it offers a great diversion. Audiobooks work too if you are too stressed to concentrate.
10. Sleep– nothing helps you cope better with stress than getting a good night’s sleep. Naps are also a great way to regroup and gather the energy you needed to go on. (Do not do this at work, it will be seen as counterproductive)
11. Have Fun– we never laugh harder at work than when we are stressed out! At home I always make sure to have something fun planned on the weekend, especially at the end of a particularly hard week.
12. Have Faith– this too shall pass, IT ALWAYS DOES!
So the next time work and life have got you stressed, grab this list and “Roll with it”! Whether you decide to take a breath, exercise, call a friend or read a book, it won’t be long before you are creating your own “peaceful connected moments“.