My SECRETS of dealing with STRESS (at work or home)
My life now is a bit hectic, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. We have two children that are both under age of three. For those who don’t have little monsters, mornings are the most challenging. Not only do I need to get them washed and dressed. They also want food! And not just breakfast! I need to pack a lunch for the older one and make sure that little one has a veggie & fruit puree. While running out, I need to remember to pack my boy into the car, then check whether we got his jacket, shoes, lunch, water bottle, and anything else necessary for that day. Thankfully, I have the nanny who takes care of the little girl as I rush out of the garage. The drive to the daycare is the most peaceful time. My kid enjoys watching cars and rarely speaks to me. This is the time when I think about the day and how to spend my precious seven hours to its full potential.
After dropping him off, I have another 20 mins of peace. Too quickly I get to work where madness lives. I work in a litigation law firm, and things are never slow. We have fire drills, urgent projects, client meetings, and emergency filings. Trust me, it is never dull, and I love it. But this love comes at a price. I get so many things on my plate at work that sometimes I just want to curl into a ball and cry. And that I sometimes actually do.
- Crying is my number one coping mechanism. It is quick, cheap, and provides excellent relief. I don’t cry all the time (at least I want to believe that). Sometimes I just feel that tears are coming; and if the situation allows, I let myself to have a moment.
- Running or working out is my regular option. I try to hit the gym 3–4 times a week to control my anxiety levels before I blow. Running is an excellent opportunity to listen to music, zone out, and just run till you want to turn around or just keep running.
- Tyding. Clearing out the clutter, toys, clothes, or just tidying up in a room does wonders for me. After I clean up an area, I feel in control, organized, and energizes. Organized home or office powers the brain to keep an eye on the prize.
- Inviting family or friends over for brunch. This one is a bit counter-intuitive. I do need to prepare for brunch: get up early, clean the house, get the table set, and don’t forget the kids. But it is all worth it. The warmth that family & friends bring when they come into my house is enormous. People are smiling, laughing, and bonding. I love seeing my little monsters bond with grandparents and, hopefully, learn some wisdom.
- Visiting Korean spa. I have a favorite Korean spa not far from my house. It is the best spot to relax. I usually get a body scrub while I am in there. And they ARE serious about their scrubs. You will not have a single dead cell left on your body. These women are strong and know their trait. My skin is baby soft after I am done.
- Working hard. Working a few extra hours each day when you have a lot on your plate might help. I make a plan to work few hours after children are gone to sleep, and it makes a huge difference. At the very least, just get ready for the next day. You can dive into the work as soon as you get into the office, instead of playing catch up with emails for 2 hours in the morning. Before you know it, it is lunchtime, and you still have a lot of work to accomplish.
- Shopping. If I cannot afford shoe shopping, grocery shopping does the trick. I get few sweet treats for myself while completing a necessary task. And even though it might not seem like much, it makes me feel better, because I did something for myself.
One of the above never fails to lift my spirits and help me stay focused and chill. Whether I am working on a client’s project or convincing my child that he already has this toy, I never lose my cool.