How To Find Time To Deal With Stress (When You Are Already Working 40+ Hours And Have Daily Responsibilities)
A life of routines
Right now you probably have a routine that you follow that, on some level, "works" for you. We all have those odd days where our routine is thrown off by having some new to add in or something different to attend to - but for the most part we have a set plan that we follow everyday.
For example, we may wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, get breakfast, get the kids ready, prepare yourself for work, maybe have a minute for your coffee. On some level that works for you because it gets you out the door and on your way.
Then when you get to work you may have another routine, check in with your emails, coworkers, manager, and go to morning meetings. Or some version of having errands to run, things to take care of for your family, and so on. Naturally you have a routine for getting home, for managing to get something to eat, for every aspect of your life on a daily basis there are routines that you are using.
Even when you decide to do something extra like go to the movies, visit a friend, or stop for takeout - that is also a part of your routine. Because if you look at your life you will see that you do that once a month or perhaps every three months. So it is still part of your schedule that you are following, part of your self-programming that you have implemented because on some level it gives you the results you are looking for.
But the trouble with this is that we unconsciously think that if something is not in the routine it must take "more" time. We unconsciously protect the status quo and the routines we have grown accustomed to. We live in our routines, experiencing a full-time schedule (that we have created) and then become captured by it. Now we become very resistant to anything that threatens to change the routine.
Of course we all know the story of this. Over stressed employee gets a heart attack or a stroke. Then we say "wow, we need to look at our stress level!" Stress has been connected to so many lifestyle diseases like heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, anxiety, and depression - yet we do not take it seriously until we have been hit personally by some health crisis.
We do not take it seriously until something from life really hits us hard and forces us to change. Because we think "I don't have the time to practice stress management, I barely have time to eat!"
But this is what we don't realize. Our routine doesn't have to be drastically and dramatically altered. Rather it needs to be UPDATED. As you begin experiencing that your routine is negatively affecting your health, some changes have to be made to it. That does not necessarily mean that we have find more time - it may mean we have to learn to be more efficient when are following our routine.
Another way of saying that is we must learn to live more skillfully. When we take the things we already do in our routines and make them serve us better then we can begin integrating stress management strategies without needing more time.
A relaxing and rejuvenating experience.
Imagine that you can have a relaxing and rejuvenating experience every single day. Imagine if you do not need to take time off for it, you don't need to pay any extra money for it, and it can be done without having to go anywhere. Would you want that experience for yourself? If you could do that every day do you think that it would have impact on your stress levels?
You can transform one of your daily activities into such an experience. You can learn to live more skillfully and make part of your routine that is already in place begin to serve you better. All that is required is a shift in your mindset and a commitment to make it happen.
After a few weeks of this I began feeling very run down. When I checked I was probably spending four hours in classes and about 6 hours on the road at that time. The driving was adding to the pressure on my body and I just felt like I could never catch myself to recover.
BUT this is what was needed at that time for the business to grow and for me to challenge myself personally. So I thought about and decided that I would change my experience of driving into one that was serving my needs better.
What I started doing was whenever I got behind the wheel I would say to myself this is going to be a relaxing and pleasant experience, this is going to help me dissolve my stress, and then while I was driving I would watch myself closely. I began noticing that I would be very tensed while driving, so I made an effort to relax using my breathing. I began noticing that my mind would be creating more stress - so I would try to relax the mind and let go of that excess stuff.
What I did was transform this necessary part of my day into a practice that was stress relieving instead of stress contributing. Nowadays I have a little less driving than before, but I am always seeking the make my driving experience a more stress relieving one. That way it supports everything else that I have to do in my routine.
We can take this approach seek to transform one of the aspects of our routine to help us manage our stress differently.
Continuously seek to update and improve your routines
The trick to finding the time for stress management then is to continuously update our routine so that it serves our life experience. This means that we must learn to be more conscious of what is in our routines and if they give us positive results. This means that we also need to tap into our willpower and begin changing those routines that are ultimately dragging us down. In short it is that we must learn to live more skillfully
To live more skillfully is actually one of the definitions of Yoga.
Yogah karmasu kaushalam
Hopefully we can see how much Yoga can bring to the table in terms of stress management and learning to live in greater balance. I have experienced personally how much applying the principles of Yoga in my life has done for me. And I am continuously inspired to see how those around me are constantly uplifted by the practice.
The way to begin doing this in your life is to start by transforming one small activity in your routine into a more stress relieving one. Once you begin feeling the effects and can see the evidence for yourself you will be motivated to begin updating your routines in a bigger way.
Leave me a comment answering this question to get you started. What small activity that is already a part of your routine do you think you can transform into a stress relieving one?
|Yoga with Ved|