Stop Stressing Out! Three Steps to Reprioritize Your Life
You’re stretched to the max at work, and on top of that you have a side hustle or passion project that you pour your soul into daily. You hold leadership positions with several community organizations, and volunteer locally.
And let’s not even talk about all the things you do for your children and family.
In fact, anytime a family member is in need, despite your already overfilled schedule, you drop everything to run to the rescue. You’re so busy that you often don’t eat, don’t get up most of the day to move your body, and only sleep about 5 hours a night.
Sometimes our busyness comes in waves, but you’re so perpetually busy that you’re not enjoying the journey. You need boundaries, so that you can prioritize yourself, and you need them STAT. You may not see it, but there’s probably one area that’s causing you to feel overwhelmed and stressed.
An area that doesn’t align with what you value; that you need to stop doing.
Here are 3 steps to help you start putting yourself first:
1. Identify what you value.
Start with a values exercise, which begins by identifying all of the roles that you play, and what it may look like for you to be your very best in each of these roles.
This process helps you understand the qualities you want your life to reflect, the contributions you want to make, and the goals that will help you get there. By reflecting on these values, you gain clarity around your purpose and where your health fits into the picture, and the things that you need to say NO to become clearer.
2. Check in with yourself.
Being able to say NO also requires that you take time to check in with yourself every few hours and assess how you’re feeling. Practicing mindfulness meditation can foster the ability to be more present and aware of our body’s needs. So, take some time today to get still and assess what your body needs.
3. Pause before moving forward.
If you don’t currently have a meditation practice and aren’t sure where to start, mindfulness expert Christiane Wolf, MD, PhD suggests using this brief practice:
S – Stop
T – Take a few conscious deep breaths
O – Observe what’s going on inside of you and around you
P – Proceed with more clarity and from a place of choice
Pausing to take a few conscious deep breaths will help center you, allow you to assess how you’re feeling and then move forward with clear direction on how to meet your needs. The bonus is, you can do this anytime, anywhere!
You may be taking a look at these steps and think life is too complicated to reduce your stress in three simplified steps. I assure, however, that it can, so give it a try.