I have learned that stress is a self-induced phenomenon. As such given that no one imposes it on you, then I have had a good look at what I do to keep myself balanced (some might argue I have not succeeded). Here are some of the ways that I reduce the ‘stress’ in my life.
1. Eat properly. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. (I simply cannot sleep if I have a large evening meal, quite happy with a hot breakfast and a bowl of soup for dinner.)
2. Thinking time. I need time to create the day, work out what I want to get from the day. Problem solve – look at different point of views. I need to have time to think things through and imagine what could be possible.
3. Walking time. I sold my car years ago, I walk every morning to work (except if it is raining). This is half an hour to myself it is almost meditative. This might be the only exercise that I get in a day.
4. Cuddle the kids. Children are really caught up in their own world, listening to their trials and tribulations and remembering what my own childhood was like brings me back to earth. Being in someone else’s world is amazingly stabilising.
5. Mentors, buddies and coaches. A problem shared is a problem halved. I have lots of people I can talk to if I get myself tied up in knots and I cannot see my way forward.
6. Being Trusting. As a business owner, I often want to control everything. I have had to let this go. I really cannot do it all, and if I try I just upset people on the way through. I simply trust other people’s contribution even if it is different from mine.
7. Email Efficiency. I’m the boss. I have spoken on this before. I can control when email is turned on and when it is off. Just because I get a request by email does not mean I have to stop doing what I was doing and respond straight away.
8. Quieten the voice in my head. It can be very noisy in my head, debates rage, judgments abound and opinion rampant. But I have the power to choose how I react to any circumstance that arises. Breathe before reacting, think of the implications. Choose the bigger picture.
9. One hour off before bed. I don’t have a ‘crackberry’, I had a Treo and I threw it in the harbour I hated it so much. The mind needs time to wind down. I am a movie addict, I subscribe to Quickflix and I read. Escape to someone else’s world, mine looks pretty good then.
10. Friends. Laugh out loud and get seven hugs a day and life seems pretty good. It is why I have retained the services of Dexter Dog. He has been with me for four and a half of the six years of RedBalloon as the head of security. Really he is my gorgeous dog who is always with me, and always ready for a cuddle and play, and he never gets mad if I stay out late.
Context is important, there are always people that have more to do, or are not as well off ? in fact I am very fortunate to have such a great life…even if it is the last days of the financial year and I am still chasing a result, it has been an amazing year.