I used to run around saying I’m so stressed out and I’m so overwhelmed. It felt terrible and I couldn’t seem to get anything done. This stemmed from my working for others as an employee for years and then I carried it over to when I began my own business. I suffered from headaches and anxiety, and I always had something happen to get in the way of what I was trying to accomplish. At work it was the computer crashed or the printer jammed. If I was driving, I hit every single red light there was and, of course, got behind the slowest driver. It was downright frustrating and annoying yet it was the way I lived my life.
One day I realized that I needed to make a change. I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing and nearly rear-ended the driver in front of me. I was a danger to not only myself but to those around me! I was mad at myself because this was not how I wanted to show up in my life.
And on the home front, my husband would often say “you are a mess” and he was right. I didn’t like when he said it and that was because I knew it was true. I had bruises from walking into things; the corner of the desk, the door frames, and things that just jumped out in front of me. Well, okay, so they didn’t really just jump out – I wasn’t paying attention and of course I ran into them. Doing so slowed me down… so again another example of things happening to me.
Okay, so what did I do? I decided that I needed to be present in my life because I was missing out on so much. I was always racing around from thing to thing trying to get stuff done. Some important and some not so important, but because I put it off it was usually urgent that I get it done.
It’s what transpired for me that I’d love to share with you. It’s when I decided – Stress, it’s got to go! Here are a few steps that immediately took the edge off the anxiety and frustration I was feeling and they were easy to do. See, I knew that I needed it to be easy because, heck, I had things to do and it couldn’t be hard or else I’d feel stressed doing them. And since I was out to change that, I wanted it to be do-able.
• I decided what I wanted to feel. I did not like feeling stressed – which meant that I felt tight, my breathing was short and my shoulders were always hunched. I thought about how do I want to feel? It was relaxed. And how to do that was to just envision feeling it at first.
• I took 5 minutes to do nothing – and at first it was so hard. I was antsy and couldn’t sit still. So in order to actually accomplish this I told myself I would read 5 minutes of the book that I was reading at the time. I enjoyed this so much, I ended up setting the time for 30 minutes and it was the best 30 minutes of my day because it gave me that peace of mind I needed. I eventually ended up being able to sit still and quiet for 5 minutes.
• I took things off my list of things to do. This was the hardest part yet it was the most beneficial. I’m a self-proclaimed over-achiever and put a lot on my to-do list yet I wasn’t getting to nearly half of them. So I started with the 2-3 most important things on my list and if I got those done I could do another and so on. This not only set me up to win and feel productive, but it gave me more time – which when I was under so much stress and overwhelm I never had. The outcomes were amazing and I felt so much better.
Just putting these three tips into place made my life and my business so much easier. I was no longer ‘a mess’ internally and externally, I was productive and calm. I had peace of mind and I felt so much joy and happiness. Ahhh it was – and still is – just the way I decided I wanted to feel.
Kim Ravida is Founder and CEO of Kim Ravida Coaching. Kim works with women and women business owners to structure their lives and businesses in a way that fits them so that they reach their goals, make more money and live their lives with less stress and more success. She places an emphasis on fun, freedom and practicing good self-care.