Stress. Getting stressed, or being stressed. All I know, is the sound of the word ‘stressed’ leaves my shoulders feeling tight and icky. I instantly feel like I am carrying a 50 lbs child on my shoulders while walking uphill… stress is no good in my opinion and I do everything in my power to shirk this awful feeling.
Like a few years ago when I realized I was missing out on my girls growing up. Life was the liquor stores, plain and simple. Often, I had no time for me at all and the nanny raised my kids. I envied from afar, because you know, I wanted to be that savvy, career mom. Owning these businesses seemed like what I wanted to do, but all it did was cause stress in my head and in my family life. For the first time ever, I didn’t want what I thought I wanted. I wanted to be the mom who witnessed her kids successes and their failures. The mom who is there when they flip heads over tails off of their bike. The mom who schleps kids back and forth from dance and to the library. Suddenly, I wanted that more than I ever thought I did!
So what did I do to calm this stress?
In Alberta, we have an awesome tourism tagline….
“Remember to Breathe”
I breathed. I breathed like it was the first time I had ever breathed! Fresh air is an amazing way to release your stress. Clean oxygen opened my eyes and my lungs, releasing the stress of past decisions made. I never imagined that having my girls would alter my path. I am a pretty determined lady and like to have things my way… but at some point the whole career thing seemed empty and I realized I needed much more balance. It wasn’t so much that I was stressed, but rather, I was reacting to stress in a way that wasn’t productive.
Ways to Release the Stress:
- Learn what you need to do to control your reaction to stress. As soon as you gain control, stress is no longer detrimental. We don’t need to live with stress, we just need to make modifications so that our soul feels good again. Do whatever that takes!
- Don’t create your own stress… say NO to negatives. Always have a list of good, positive ideas or pictures or of things you love nearby. Whenever you are feeling negative, push that thought away and choose to focus on what is good or positive.
- Direct your Dreams! Be in control over your mind and body. Focus on what you would like to see happen in your life. Visualize it- draw, doodle, write poems… do whatever helps you to turn your ideas in plans, plans into action and action into reality.
These days, I am enjoying a career on my own terms… one that I can live with more fully. I am able to experience my children at school, I am able to volunteer and I am using my efforts in a way that still makes me feel ‘career full-filled’. I am so lucky to have realized how to turn perceived stress into powerful, life-giving energy!
Tina O’Connor, BSc Psych.
President & CEO, Be That Books Inc.
Author, Entrepreneur, Mom, Wife, Professional Organizer, and Cool Chick.
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