Currently recovering from a debilitating stomach virus. Needless to say, the only foods I’ve consumed lately are white rice, bananas, toast and applesauce. So to start out this week, because April is Stress Awareness Month, I’m going to do a post on managing stress.
Stress management is a huge part of my life. I try to keep my type A personality “positive”–aka productive and detail-oriented–as opposed to type A “negative”–anxious, micromanaging, and radiating stress. I had a huge problem with stress during my first year of law school and during the bar exam. After passing the CA bar, I vowed never freaking AGAIN and started taking stress management seriously.
I’m not going to tell you to get more sleep, eat right, exercise and breathe easy. Obviously you know those things are helpful. The following are some some level 2 stress management techniques that work for me:
- 1. Give yourself a lifeline. Aka, always have something big to look forward to when facing burnout. Sometimes all notions of the intrinsic good of working hard (or for a paycheck) go out the window when stress gets too crazy and burnout sets in. When I hit that point, I think about my goals that are bigger than my 9-5. World travel, for instance. Sometimes I can power away past burnout after googling plane ticket prices for my planned vacation this Fall, even just “Tokyo in November.” After, I can return to my task with a more level head and measured attitude.
- 2. Get a robe. A really nice one that makes you feel like the Hef himself. The point isn’t just to, you know, NOT be wearing pants around the house (added bonus), but to feel taken care of while spending time in the comfort of your own home, no matter what stress is going on in the background. Maybe you’re stuck in the house on a Saturday night with a fast-approaching deadline, or maybe you’ve been at the office til 10pm every night this week. Don’t lay around in baggy pants and a tshirt. Light up a candle, and wrap yourself in something soft. At least one layer of stress will melt away.
- 3. Get your nails did, preferably a gel mani. Guess what you can’t do while someone is carefully painting up your fingernails? Text, check company email, or otherwise use your phone. Boom, you’re off the grid for 30-45 minutes. Guess who is not going to ask you if you’re on top of your to-do list this week? Your nail tech. If they talk to you at all. Because this person demands NOTHING of you aside from payment and a fair tip. Relish it while you can.
- 4. Strategize; and GET HELP if you feel like you don’t have the tools to do so yourself. Being happy and low-stress, like most worthwhile things in life, takes work and planning. It’s easy to give in to feelings of anxiety, and it’s easy to be negative. What’s hard is developing a system to include all your priorities. For me, it’s my Google Calendar. If you feel like you can’t do it on your own, get help. Many young women seem to feel like failures if they can’t overcome their own stress. I hate that. The ladies are under enough pressure these days. Sometimes we all need help. Let me put it this way: some of us know how to change a tire, some of us have to call a mechanic; either way, getting back on the road is the bottom line and entirely worth the hustle. NO SHAME!
Let me know what you think, and please pass on any tips that work for you in the comment box below!
BTW, that lunch set up there is the BROILED SALMON CHEEK from Goshi in San Luis Obispo. It’s my fav and a major steal. Cannot wait for this wretched stomach flu to leave my system completely so I can dive back in…