It seems these days that there can be an endless list of duties, responsibilities, tasks and obligations. Often these seemingly never-ending lists of things to do can cause us *some* stress. Sometimes we’re not even aware of the toll such stress takes on us because we are so wrapped up and busy trying to check things off the list, just to be distracted again my new items that somehow keep getting added. Learning some tools to help cope with the busy demands of life can be worthwhile in helping us achieve a healthy work-life balance. Below are some tips to help achieve just that:
1- Mindfulness: try being mindful of whichever activity you are choosing to focus on. For example, if you’re washing the dishes, stay focused and present on just the dishes. Notice what the water feels like on your hands. Pay attention to the soapy bubbles all over the dishes. When you notice other thoughts pop up in your mind, like the laundry that needs to be turned over or the car mechanic that needs to be called because of the light that went on in your car, focus your attention back to just the dishes. Research suggests that we cannot do multiple tasks nearly as well as we can one task at a time. Gently remind yourself that you are staying focused on just one activity at a time and that you will get to the other activities when you are able.
2- Take purposeful and intentional mini-breaks throughout the day. These breaks can be times spent going for a brisk walk, practicing some deep breathing, listening to some music, calling a friend for a quick chat etc. We are not the energizer bunny, we cannot just keep going, going and going. We all need breaks here and there. Knowing throughout our busy lives and schedules that we have a few mini breaks throughout the day can help give us the energy and perspective to put the effort into what we need to do and look forward to having a little respite.
3- Remember to laugh and not sweat the small stuff. Ever face an unexpected work or social or personal dilemma that seemed so embracing at the time? Ever look back months or years later and laugh at the silliness of the situation? Try to remember that whatever we face in the moment, we likely won’t feel as strongly upset or embarrassed or annoyed at some time later. Don’t sweat the small stuff, keep it all in perspective and focus your energy on what you decide truly matters.