Managing Stress – Balancing work and family life

Managing Stress

Things have been overwhelming lately. Balancing work and family life has been hectic and the amount of negativity we are bombarded with at the moment seems at an all-time record. It has been a huge mental challenge to keep positive and not be dragged under the wave of fear . . . a challenge I’ve failed many times in recent weeks.

A few days ago, a friend suggested we have a “mental health day”. I was resistant at first because of the amount of work I had piled up. I really didn’t need another distraction.

In reality, I wasn’t being very productive anyway. Being stressed, I was easily triggered and was working reactively and not effectively. The amount of time I was spending at my desk was not reflected in my work output. I was short tempered and thinking the worst of every situation. I had no energy to get the work done and motivation was low.

So my friend and I headed to the beach; a beach that is only 20 minutes from home, but I don’t take the time out to visit nearly enough. We had a naughty cocktail (or two) with breakfast, we chatted about mundane things, we gossiped and then we put our feet in the warm sand and the cool water. I delighted in the view and breathed in the salty air.

I felt a sense of peace roll through me . . . a calmness that I hadn’t felt for ages. I stopped thinking about work, politics, war, disasters and all the other things that had been overwhelming me.

I felt content to JUST BE.

Though it’s still a bit chilly, I went for a swim. The waves and cool water were invigorating and gave me energy.

I soaked up the sun and felt my body relax.

It was the best day I’ve had in a very long time.

When I returned to work, I felt like I’ve had a week’s holidays. I have more clarity, I can make better decisions, I get more work done and I am a nicer person to be around. I’m making better decisions around maintaining my energy and emotional state – walking the dog more, taking time out to relax, eating healthier, avoiding negativity in the social media, turning off that damn TV and checking my attitude regularly.

I choose to be grateful . . . my reality is awesome, so why am I wasting it on negative people and situations that are not my reality?

I’ve made a promise to myself to take a regular ‘time out’.

How are you looking after yourself?