The equalizing factor among the classes. No matter who you are, or what you’ve accomplished, stress always seems to leak into life in some way- often unexpected. I am the first to admit, I don’t always have the best coping mechanisms in stressful situations. I seem to lose track of simple things when I’m under pressure, like where I put the keys I was just holding, or that I needed to make a turn back there. Like last weekend, I was prepping to pitch my book to an agent at a conference, and I was so stressed focused, that I left my laptop plugged in to my printer. At home. Awesome, right? I tend to make it worse for myself because I’ve temporarily lost my head. I tend to feel this way when I’m running late, feel unprepared, don’t know what to expect, or if I was expecting something and it doesn’t go the way I thought it would. Those are personal stressors for me, which is important to identify, so that you can learn to combat them. Stress is an awful feeling, coming in third on my I-don’t-ever-want-to-feel-this-way-meter. What are the first two? Grief is number one, and guilt is a close second. But I’ll go into that another time.
In my quest to rid my life of stress, I found this creative visual tool from Mind Tools, called the “Wheel of Life,” which you can read about in more detail and try for yourself here. It’s a way for you to assess and monitor the different areas in your life, so you can see where you are placing most of your time, which might allow you to see where you are lacking meaningful connection, and why you are feeling stressed out.
Using the wheel, divide your life into the areas you feel you need, in order to generate balance. Then you asses them on a scale of 1-6: 1 being low and unhappy – 6 being high and fulfilled. The diagram will plot your answers accordingly, and you will visually be able to see on the wheel where you are lacking. You can also choose topics other than those listed to better suit your needs. You can print your wheel, so you have a tangible reminder of your quest for less stress.
I love this quote by Bryon Dyson, the former CEO of Coca Cola:
It’s a good reminder that while we are all hopefully chasing our career dreams (you ARE chasing, aren’t you? If not…I’m going to talk about that next time), there are core items that should have trump-power in your life. Never ignore those.
So, now that I’ve revealed some of my personal stressors, what are yours? How do you balance work and family? How do you fit in ME time and still devote time to nurture your relationships? Any tips that help you keep your sanity and find some inner zen?
Let me know your thoughts! I’ll see ya Friday, to talk about the CHASE that intoxicates!