As I thought about this week’s topic, I realized just how much this resonated with me. This week, we’re looking at stress. Why? Because a few weeks ago, even though I didn’t write a blog post about it, I recorded a video on Youtube about Anxiety, which seemed to have helped a few people. It got me thinking – I talked about the concept of anxiety and how to deal with it but what about the following two scenarios:
- People who aren’t anxious but are getting there.
- People who are already there
If you’re not there, then I hope this will help you stop in your tracks and take immediate action so that you don’t make it to that point.
If you are already there, like myself, then let’s work on helping you slow down so that you don’t work yourself into an anxiety attack.
Let me be honest with you for a moment. I have a baby and he doesn’t always sleep through the night, which means that I’m awake too. I have a difficult time going back to bed after he wakes up, so what I’m telling you about right now is in reference to that particular week when I hadn’t slept much. To make matters worse, I had a difficult conversation with a loved one and the guilt of it ate at me. Instead of taking some time for myself, I tend to plough right through. I’m sure you can guess what happened next, I worked myself into an anxiety attack.
I’ve since resolved the situation because as I talked about in my video about anxiety, I took immediate action. However, I should never have let it get to that point in the first place.
This is why we’re talking about this topic today. I don’t want this for you or, most especially, your children. I want better for you’ll. Stress is what occurs prior to anxiety. So, let’s face it together. Let’s have a meaningful conversation about it.
For those of you who either have or teach children, please take a moment to teach these lessons to them, because nowadays, we have so many children who suffer from stress and anxiety.
I’m a big believer in practicing what you preach, while I’m making reference to actions that I’d like you to take, it’s because I’m choosing to address you in the hopes that you’ll practice these steps so that your children can learn from your example. I hope that this will also help you personally as well.
Alright! Let’s jump into this.
Causes Of Stress
I’m sure there are many reasons why you feel stressed out but let’s be real for a moment- most people are stressed out for two main reasons:
- They’re taking on too much
- They’re amplifying the importance of what they’re taking on
Note: There are other situations as well, such as trauma, but that’s a topic for a different day.
If you’re in the first category, then I’m pretty sure, that the second one speaks to you too because you more than likely think that either everything or most of the items on your list are super important.
If you’re in the second category, doesn’t it feel like it’s too much for you to handle? Isn’t that why you’re stressed out?
Guess what then? It doesn’t matter which category you chose at first, for many of you, you’re in both of them. So, let’s put things into perspective, shall we?
It’s Too Much
If number one is causing you stress, go back and watch my video on anxiety. More specifically, focus on when I tell to say “NO” to things until you check with your calendar. There’s a reason for it, which is explained in that video. Even if you choose not to check out that video, start saying no until you check your calendar. Maker sure it aligns with your goals, values and it betters your way in some way.
Beyond that, I want to point one more thing out. For those of you who think that everything aligns with your life, then you need to take a step back because you will take on too much. Before you say yes to anything else, I want to you go into your calendar and block out time for self-care. It doesn’t matter if you’re just sitting in front of the television during that time, you need that time for yourself so that your mind and body can relax. If you need ideas for self-care, I have freebie for you. Once you block out that time, look at your work and family times. Also, make time to EAT AND SLEEP- this is self-care 101 for your sanity. Then and only then should you look at your planner to see if additional tasks can be fit in. If not, it’s a BIG NO or it can be scheduled for another week or month. Click on the image below to get access to this freebie that’s located in the free resource library.
Realistically, people do not and should not expect you to be Superman/Supergirl. If they do, they live in an unrealistic world and that pressure is not yours to bear. Heck! Even Superman and Supergirl make time for their family and to rest.
The big takeaway is learning to:
- Schedule in time for self-care and family time (in my video from two weeks ago about developing routines, this is incredibly important for children if we want them to thrive).
- Say no until you check your calendar. If the task aligns with your values, goals & betters your life, then schedule it in, otherwise, say good-bye to it.
Now if you’re taking a small task and making a big deal out of it, it means one of two things: you either have too much on your plate or something is not quite right about it- maybe, you don’t really want to do it. If it’s the latter, unless it’s urgent, delegate it.
When I talk about amplifying a task, I mean making a big deal out of small task. For example, nowadays, so many people make a big deal about not knowing what to eat for dinner. REALLY? This is a big deal? I’m not trying to put anyone down but do you know how many people don’t have food to eat? What about those who have no hands to eat it with? Have you thought about those who drink contaminated water just to fill their belly so that they don’t have to think about the hunger? I have! I’ve seen it in my birth country. What about those who struggle to put food on the table for their families? I’ve been there too because my parents had to deal with that when we first moved to Canada. That’s rough but I’m sure that others went through much worse.
Put it into perspective, my friend. This is not meant to berate you or belittle your thoughts and feelings. You are fully entitled to have them and I’m glad you do because it makes you human. However, when you feel overwhelmed by a simple task, I’d like you to take a moment to evaluate if the task deserves a big, medium or smaller emotion. Then, I’d like you to take a few deep breaths. Finally, realize that people more than likely have it worse than you. Research it if you have to. This step is important because it brings down that feeling of overwhelm as you begin to realize just how blessed you truly are.
For your children, the last few steps are really important to teach, so let’s go over them once more:
- Assess if the task deserves a big, medium or small emotion
- Take a few deep breaths (to calm down your body & to center yourself)
- Put the task at hand into perspective (research it or ask someone about it)
Nowadays, when I feel like I have a lot to do, I try to move things around so that it doesn’t suck the life out of me. I am making time for myself. Just yesterday, I started watching a new show. I’m also making the time to be GRATEFUL for the work that I’ve been given. Yes, it can feel like a bit much at times, but do you want to know something awesome about it? It means that my life matters. I wouldn’t have so much going on if it didn’t. I just need to learn how to manage it better so that it doesn’t stress me out. Isn’t that the case for you as well?
Try this method out and tell me how it worked out for you. Know that this is going to be an ongoing process. You may backslide a bit but it’s okay. Give yourself permission to do so, then pick yourself up, hold your high and go back to the drawing board. The key here, is not to give up. While there’s no cure for stress or anxiety, it can be managed. If you are struggling with this, call someone you trust and voice your concerns and your plan to overcome it. During times of struggle, know that I’m on the sidelines cheering you on because just like my life, yours matters as well.
- We talked about stress and its affect on your life
- We looked at what you can do if you’re taking on too much (schedule in self-care, say no unless it aligns with your values, goals & betters your life & then schedule it in or delegate)
- And if you’re over amplifying the emotions in regards to different tasks (assess the level of emotion the task deserves, take deeps breaths & put it into perspective).
- We then concluded with giving thanks for our struggles.
If you’re an intermediate teacher, I have some exciting news for you. I’m in the process of creating a community just for you where we can work on teaching our children to bridge the gap between creativity, social and emotional learning, and social emotional equity. We’ll be pairing this up with literacy development as well. Join the waitlist because once the doors open, it won’t stay open for long. For more information either, CLICK HERE or on the image below.
That’s it for now. Join me next week – same place, same time, as we continue on our journey to managing our stress by focusing on our limiting beliefs.
Take care yourself as you continue to create, experience and teach from the heart.