Everyone goes through those ‘hell weeks’ at the office. Deadlines pile up, meetings spill over, and if that weren’t bad enough, you can’t even sleep because of fear of failing really badly.
The problem is that our stress and anxiety weighs us down when we need to be at our most alert and efficient. Here are some life tips on shaking off the negative emotions so you can finish the job, and maybe even enjoy the process.
Life tip # 1: Let your inner child play.
You’re taking things way too seriously. Yes, you’re a responsible adult and you will get things done, but you know it’s time to take a step back when you think this deadline/quota/project/client is going to make or break your career. Get some perspecive. Lighten up. And the way to do this is to set aside all the responsibility, at least for one hour, and just be silly. Read a children’s book (like Shel Silverstein’s lighthearted and witty poems in Light in the Attic, or a favorite from your childhood). Color in a coloring book. Play Frisbee with your dog. It will make you laugh—which will release all these energizing endorphins—and help you realize that this deadline, no matter how important, is just a deadline.
Life tip # 2: Call on a Higher Power.
No, we don’t mean your boss. If you’re religious, or have any faith in a Divine (whether you call it God or Goddess, Your Highest Self or your guardian angel) then connect to it. You’re overwhelmed because you think you’re doing things alone, or that you only have the resources in front of you to achieve your goal. Try asking for help—whether it be a miraculous surge of energy or a heightened intuition to help you find the solutions more quickly—and believe that you will be given what you need at every step. (Have a hard time praying? Try our life tips on how to have a richer prayer life.) You can also try sitting meditations or using tarot cards to tap your intuition.
Life tip # 3: Don’t feed the negative energy.
Resist the urge to vent with co-workers or moan and groan about your job with your friends. You’re only wasting valuable energy on something that will pull you deeper into your misery. Instead of throwing away those 15 minutes on one grand pity fest, seek out something or someone that will pull up your spirits. Don’t know who you can call? Go on Youtube and watch inspiring videos. Read a chapter from your favorite motivational author. Or if you do call up a friend, tell her exactly what you need at that point: ‘Please tell me why you think I can do this.’
Life tip # 4: Give a deadline for venting.
If you really, really need to talk about how stressed or upset you are, try this trick. Get out a notebook and a timer. Set the timer to 20 minutes and allow yourself to write down every ugly thought and emotion running through you at this moment. Stop when the timer goes off.
This works better than talking to someone (who may drag on the conversation or give you unsolicited advice) or ignoring what you feel (you’ll just explode). Basically ,you tell yourself: ‘There, you got that out. Now move on.’
Another version of this is to visualize your problems getting smaller. Imagine a cardboard box, then mentally place every worst-case scenario, negative emotion, fear and anxiety in the box, one by one. Close the box, then imagine the box getting smaller, and smaller, and smaller.
Life tip # 5: Break it into chunks.
How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Focus on getting small tasks done—not perfectly, just done—and you’ll realize in no time that you’re halfway through a dreaded project.
Photo from reconnections.net