Curious? How are you feeling at the end of the day? Anxious? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Exhausted?
If you are feeling any of those emotions, you certainly are not alone. To tell you the truth, most of my clients felt that way when they first came to me for coaching.
I started coaching a client (let's call her Jennifer). She is a manager in a food services department, a mom of three children below the age of eight, a volunteer for many organizations, and a loving wife. I'm sure you can imagine how hard it was for her to balance her job, family and volunteer work. Before she started coaching with me, she often felt very stressed, especially when "life" would throw her a curve ball.
Once when she called me, she was feeling overwhelmed by the constant bickering of her staff. "It's like I'm always trying to put out fires!" she said with a long, sigh, "And, sometimes I feel like I am on fire too!" I then jokingly responded by saying, "Well, if you are on fire, perhaps you should stop, drop and roll." We both laughed.
After we hung up, I thought...hmmmmm.....What I typically hear from clients when they are feeling overwhelmed and stressed is that they go into their survival instinct by trying to "put out the fires", by working harder and faster, hoping to cross off more items from their ever-growing to-do list. They bury themselves in tasks, forget about the "not-essential" activities such as self-care and leisure time with friends and family....until they either successfully resolve the crisis at hand, or run themselves down. Have you ever come down with a nasty flu or other illness after completing a major project? If so, then I'm sure you know what I'm talking about.
And, I then started to think about the "Stop, Drop, and Roll" statement I made. And starting to wonder what a "Stop, Drop and Roll approach would look like, instead of going into the "putting out fires" mode?
Below, is what I came up with....
When you are stressed and overwhelmed, what if you were to STOP, and take stock of the situation. Take a look at your stress level and acknowledge your feelings of overwhelm. I feel this is such an important step, because suppressed emotions don't just disappear. They only get buried somewhere in your body and may show up someday as a physical dis-ease.
Take the time to identify the source of your stress.
Is it from external circumstances (such as your job, relationship, finance, illness), or internal sources (such as unrealistic expectations or perfectionism)? Take time to evaluate your situation carefully. Ask yourself;
- "What are the things I can control right now?"
- "What is out of your control right now"?
- "What are you willing to let go and release in order to create peace
Now...Take a few minutes to breathe deeply and center yourself.
This is a perfect time to take abreak. Do something to pamper your body, mind and spirit.
After you are feeling calm, take a look at your to-do list and each and every task on your list. Now, Dump whatever is not aligned with your long-term goals and core values. Delegate the ones that can be done by others, and only Perform the tasks that are aligned with your goals, core values, or can only be done by you.
Now that you have clear vision of what you want, start to "Roll" out an action plan to get everything done!
Once you have all the action steps written down and know approximately how much time you need, put them on your calendar.
Granted, sometimes things don't go exactly as you planned them to go. And, '
I'm curious? What if you chose to be flexible about how things got done? What if you were totally open and detached from the outcome and trusted that things will work out in ways you have never imagined!
Sending you Much Love, Light & Peace,