Summertime is here!! I don’t know about you, but I always get such a thrill when I can say those words. It starts when the trees first begin to bud in Chicago – makes me feel like a kid again as I shout, “oohhh, goody…there are leaves on the trees, so that means summer is close behind!” Summertime also conjures up thoughts of sitting outside, eating ice cream, popsicles, dreamsicles…or your favorite treat and shooting the breeze with your buddies and girlfriends. These joyful and blissful thoughts can help you feel good – and relaxed (no matter what the season).
However, in today’s world, many of us have businesses to run, careers to manage and families to take care of…so capturing those little moments of bliss can be challenging. If we’re not careful, managing the day-to-day demands and stresses can suck up our taking-care-of-ourselves moments. There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. But, today work is likely to invade our personal lives — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task. Still, work-life balance isn’t out of reach. There are many actions you can take in your quest to gain that balance. These include great tips like: tracking your time, getting plenty of rest, learning to say ‘no’ and leaving work at work. In addition to the ‘things’ you can do, the attitudes and perceptions about the demands and stresses of your life are also essential for achieving the life-work balance (i.e. the internal stuff).
It is my belief that joy (bliss, playtime, laughter, etc.) is a natural stress buster! The question, of course, is how to work those things into your life when you’re so busy! The key is not to wait for the ‘big’ things like vacations, special dinners, or a day at Great America before you get balance. These are fine…but you also want to incorporate all of the small ‘good stuff’ that occurs all the time that you might take for granted.
To achieve the work-life balance, it is important to have a continuous abundance of joy, peace, ease, playtime and grace in your life! You can do this with your mindset…acknowledging the things you enjoy and that make you feel good can result in a life filled with joyful, stress-busting moments. You change your attitude by paying attention to the myriad of things that can relax you and make you feel good. When you feel like stress is about to get in your way, you want to stuff all of the joy you can stand into your life!
The following are 10 Joyful Stress-Busting Tips that can help you get those moments of peace and balance anytime. Of course, feel free to substitute this list of with your own joyful stress busters.
- Turn on the music! Sing out loud. Dance.
- Get wet – water has been known for centuries to have a soothing effect. Swim, take a relaxing bath, or get in the sauna.
- Take an energetic, leisurely or meditative walk. This could be as simple as walking to the bus stop, but enjoying the scenery, weather, smells, etc. along the way.
- Read an inspirational verse and/or prayer. It can set the tone of the moment or day, help you refocus and move you in the right direction.
- Take 5 vacations a day…meaning take 5 minutes several times a day to recharge and refresh. Take a moment to relive a wonderful experience, a precious moment with someone or a beautiful place you’ve been.
- Be a kid and borrow your kids’ fun things. Play!
- Laugh yourself silly! Rent a video, laugh with your friends, read a funny book, listen to your favorite comedian or just laugh out loud for no reason at all!
- Engage in enjoyable conversations with your friends, neighbors or friendly people in the store.
- Get beautiful flowers for yourself. Just having them around can be a joyful experience.
- When confronted with difficult people or situations…pause, breathe deeply, focus on the facts (not the emotions) and envision your favorite quotes, images or moments.
Bottom line…it’s up to you to recapture the moments of joy, bliss, fun, or special summer memories. These can energize and support you as you commit to having work-life balance while you go about your day of being a dynamic business owner, employee, parent and friend!
“Life is 10% of what happens, and 90% of how we react to it.” ~Charles Swindoll
Freida Curry is Director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the WBDC.