Wednesday, 4 September 2013

feeling overwhelmed? stressed? clean up!

11:00 in the evening. I'm finally home from a long day. My husband and two kids are sleeping soundly upstairs. This is a busy week so I'm glad to have some quiet time to myself.

Something happened that left me very upset this morning. I flared up (I rarely do) and I couldn't focus on what I was doing. At the same time, I was pressed for time to finish all the urgent items in my review inbox.

So I did the right thing. I stopped working.

I started clearing off unnecessary clutter on my desk. I lined up my pens. I put back the stapler and staple remover in their rightful places. I threw bills and unimportant papers in the bin. I closed unnecessary files and programs in my computer. I opened my clenched fists.




And when I sat down to work again, I felt calmer. More in control. Less overwhelmed. Focused.

It's a wonder what a few minutes (I think I took only 5 minutes off) of un cluttering can do to my state of mind.

Sometimes when I'm really stressed over something, I go to the bathroom and wash my hands. It's a metaphor for wiping a slate clean.

I feel weighed down whenever I have backlogs at work. I want to get things done and over with the soonest possible time. Long list of to do's overwhelm me. That's one reason why I'm putting in long hours at work. I would rather invest time to accomplish things now than douse fire when issues arise.

But not everything is in my control. I have to accept that I can not do all things on my own, that I would have to learn to delegate, be a teamplayer, and most of all, be patient.

I try to limit my anxiety by doing the following:

Prepare for tomorrow

I invested in a really thick notebook and pretty pens for my list of to-do's. Before I leave and call it a night, I try to finish as much items for review in my inbox. When I check my e-mail, I drag items requiring my action in the "for action" folder. Otherwise, I will surely forget about them.

When I expect a busy day, I either try to come to work earlier or go home late. Based on experience, I envision how my workload will be tomorrow and adjust accordingly.

Break down big tasks

No matter how hard I want to finish everything in a day, I'm only human. I need sleep. I need food. I need rest. So instead of aiming too big, I try to break down my goals. Review all the journal vouchers today. Look at the schedules the next day. Do a little bit each day. Be persistent and consistent. Eventually, I'll conquer them all backlogs.

Take it one day at a time

It is not easy not to think of tomorrow and the what-if's. But so as not to go insane, I am trying to be mindful only of today. My waking hours has been better since I started treating each day as stand-alone, and not merely as the third day of a week. At some points of the day, I try to be fully aware of my surroundings, my thoughts, my emotions.

Through this mindset, a long week feels shorter and the weekend seems to come sooner.

Stay calm. Easier said than done. Focus on the real and immediate issues. Forget the rest. Let go and let God.

Enlist help and trust other people

I delegate tasks, whenever practicable. I fight the urge to do things on my own. Although I'm not successful  all the time, I'm trying. This is a work in progress for me.

Eat and sleep well

I love my sleep and my food, too. I eat (on time) as much as possible. I don't starve myself. I indulge. Okay, sometimes I overindulge. Guilty.

And I never deprive myself of sleep. I do not think of my day in terms of my working hours. I measure my days by how much I was able to accomplish and how much to do's I have crossed off my list and deleted from my "for action" email folder.

Shut down and do the things you love

As a rule, I do not work on weekends. I do not work at home. Aside from these being nearly impossible because of my kids, taking the weekend off from work rejuvenates me. It makes me want to go to work again on a Monday.

I spend time with my husband and kids. I thrive in their hugs and kisses.

I invest time to do the things I love - read, write, play. My blog is a big source of joy and accomplishment for me.




Be grateful and find joy in simple things

Find joy in today. I am thankful for my job and the opportunities to grow and learn each day. I am thankful for the gift of family, friends and colleagues.


I am thankful and sleepy.

Good night. I hope you and I have a wonderful day tomorrow. :)


How about you, what are your tips to manage stress?



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