My coworker and I were talking the other day about the fact that I don’t have cable or internet at my house. This may seem crazy to some people, but to me it just doesn’t make any sense. I’m not home long enough to use it! Including our own wedding in August, the fiancé and I have seven weddings between May and October this year! Add on to wedding season our own wedding, the fact that I just started a new role at work and I have 11 more races on the schedule to train for.
Lately the fiancé and I have been so busy and so jam-packed with wedding planning, training and general life maintenance that in the back of my head I’ve caught myself wondering “How do people ever have kids? When is there time for anything? Is it ever going to slow down?” This is not an ideal way of thinking, especially during one of the most important years of our life. I don’t want to look back at this time and realize I was so busy that I wasn’t taking in moments to just be happy and enjoy life, because after all, isn’t that the point? We shouldn’t be so wrapped up in every detail of our lives that we lose focus on the bigger picture. With how crazy things are lately, I know it’s just going to get even more hectic (but fun!) as we get closer to August and all the other summer activities we have planned. At the end of the day, life goes scary fast, but I don’t want to look back and wonder what happened.
In order to keep my sanity and remain in the moment of life, here are my top 5 ways to relax and center myself when things get crazy:
1.) Run. Workout. Go to the gym.
You don’t need to spend hours working out or at the gym. That’s not possible most of the time. A quick 30 minute run or walk before work or during lunch will do the trick. I’m a fan of morning runs because it sets the pace for the rest of my day. If you haven’t tried running or working out in the morning before then I recommend trying it. You get hooked on starting your day off so positively and being able to watch the sunrise never gets old. (If you need even more motivation, some insurance plans will even pay you for staying active. Oscar, an insurance provider in New York and New Jersey gives their members Misfit bands and lets them earn cash rewards for walking or running regularly. Do yourself a favor, be smart and do your research! You’ll thank yourself later.)
2.) Spend Time Outdoors.
Go outside on your lunch break, even if it’s to sit in your car with the windows down. Or stop at a park on the way home from work. Just enjoy nature and being outside. We spend most of our days staring at office walls, phones and computers. A little nature will do you good I promise. Try researching parks close to your house and plan an afternoon this weekend to go there if only for an hour. You don’t have to be super outdoorsy or an avid hiker to do this either. Most local parks have clubs or events that offer a good variety of park programs to attend and go to. Plan an afternoon with your children or spouse to go. Centering yourself and giving your brain a chance to remember being outdoors instead of being locked away in your office can do a lot for you. For me it takes me back to moments when I was a kid and loved playing outdoors. It offers me a moment of joy and I find myself thinking “Oh ya…this is nice. I remember this now.”
3.) Spend Time Alone.
Now look… I understand how hard this can be, especially with kids and responsibilities and work and every single crazy thing that can happen in the course of a day (which is a lot). Time alone can be five minutes or it could be an hour. It could also be your daily commute to work, time in the shower or going into your bedroom for 20 minutes after work to “D’ fluff” as I like to call it. For me, I need the few minutes after work to gather and ground myself. I just fought traffic on my commute home, I’m cranky, tired, thinking about the day I just had and itching to get out of my dress clothes. I find when I go into the bedroom by myself after work and take just 10 minutes to unwind and change into comfortable clothes – I come out a much happier and nicer person. Try it!
4.) Eat Something.
Hangry is a real thing. This is when you are so hungry that you are angry. Ever notice the worse fights and attitudes come from when you’re hungry? Your blood sugars are dropping and the stress and anger hit you like a ton of bricks. You lash out and act like things are much worse than they actually are. I am a complete victim of this and my fiancé can spot a “hangry” tantrum from a mile away. If you are stressed out the worse thing to do is let yourself become stressed AND hungry. Take a moment to center yourself and eat something. It doesn’t have to be a giant meal either. It could be a Greek yogurt with berries or a handful of nuts and a protein smoothie. Eat something to balance your blood sugar and the world will start to come back into a perspective that you can work with.
5.) Call Your Mom.
Or call a trusted friend. When you are feeling stressed and have too much on your plate, one of the best things to do is talk about it and even better to be able to laugh about it. Did you screw up that presentation at work and keep thinking about it? Call and talk it through with your mom or a close friend. Chances are they will offer advice on how to fix it and sometimes even better can offer you a funny way of thinking about it. “Well at least you had on a cute outfit for the presentation even if you had that stain on your shirt and missed the last four slides. Stop by your manager’s desk after work and explain what happened and offer to email the final slides to the group.” We’ve all heard the saying before – two heads are better than one. Don’t suffer in silence! Talk it out.
What do you do to relax and remain in control of your emotions and life?