It’s not possible to completely eliminate stress, but you can learn how to manage it in ways that work for you, your family, and your business. In the November-December 2012 issue of Stampin’ Success,you will find this article which is was written with Christmas holiday season in mind, but I’ve tried to adapt it to our current climate – check it out here: http://sudsol.org/member/articles/stampin-success-magazine-archives/
When there is so much to do and high expectations, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and anxious. Try and give yourself a fabulous gift: less stress in your life. You know the usual ways to reduce stress—a relaxing day at the spa, extra sleep, a weekend getaway. These sound great but may not be practical. Instead, try some of these easy-to-implement suggestions.
Plan for the unexpected
Life is easier when you’re not scrambling to recover from small mishaps. Take a few minutes to put together an emergency kit of workshop essentials (SNAIL, Paper Snips, Cleaners, etc.) so you’re never without the necessities. Prepare a few extra Make & Takes or kits in case you need more than you planned for. Keep your gas tank at least half full. Make a spare key. You get the idea—stuff happens, but if you’re prepared for it, it will be a tiny blip in your day instead of the breaking point.
Give your brain a break
Instead of making your brain remember everything, write down what’s on your mind—you can come back to it when you have time. Your brain will know that you have a plan (or at least that you’re planning on making a plan), and it will relax so you can focus on other things. Instead of trying to mentally remember everything, put it down in a list. Instead of hoping that you’ll remember a fun card you want to CASE, take a photo.
Wake up 15 minutes earlier than normal
This may seem counter-intuitive in our sleep-deprived society, but it can set the mood for the rest of the day by making you feel less rushed. What can you do in 15 minutes? Check your e-mail. Eat a healthy breakfast. Catch up on the news. Prioritize your to-do list. Water your plants. Write a thank-you card. Stretch. Sketch. Journal. Do whatever you need to start your day right.
Be nice to someone else
The season of goodwill gives us extra motivation to think of others. Doing a good deed not only helps other people feel better, but you’ll get a little emotional boost of your own. Let someone cut in front of you in a long line of traffic. Smile at strangers. Send a RAK card. These things don’t take a lot of time but they do make you feel better.
Be nice to yourself
With all of the demands on your time, you often get pushed to the bottom of your own to-do list while everyone else moves ahead. But it’s critical to take some time for yourself, even if it’s just a few moments. Breathe deep. Laugh. Take a walk. Eat right. Make a card for fun, not because you feel like you have to. Keep a positive attitude and turn down the negative self-talk.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
You don’t have to be perfect in every area of your life. Accept the fact that you’re going to mess up from time to time. Maybe the project you’re demonstrating during your online demonstration didn’t turn out as well as you expected. Chances are no one will notice. But if they do, laugh and let them see that crafting isn’t about creating masterpieces—it’s about having fun. Between now and your next downline meeting, try one thing a week to reduce your stress level until you find a few that work well for you, and challenge your downline members to do the same. Discuss what you’ve learned at your next meeting.