“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler
I joined a new gym recently, and the first class I took was a Qi Gong class.
I’ve got to tell you it was such a relief to step onto that wood floor and almost immediately have someone tell me that all I could focus on was my hands, or my feet, or the energy between my hands.
You see, during the day, my mind races. I have to update my social media, my clients’ channels, write for my blog, write guest posts, ask people to be on my webinar series, schedule the webinars, create images, prepare for sessions I teach, approve logos, learn how to record video, read tons of other blog posts, write books, and on and on.
Yeah, I’m sort of busy. I swear that some days I could use every second of each of the 24 hours of a day just to accomplish my task list.
You probably feel the same way, right? It’s what life is like in 2016, eh? Maybe life in the 1800s was like that too. It seems to be a continual problem.
I wake up early and do my best to turn on the computer by 5:30 am and start work. I’ve got to tell you that on most days, by 5 pm I’m wasted.
No, not that kind of wasted. I’m tired, and my brain is fried. Sometimes I don’t even have the energy to read. (I’m being honest.) It’s that my eyes, after staring at the computer all day, just want to rest.
So what can you and I do to slow down or focus our energies differently so that we feel productive and can attain our goals without feeling by the end of the day that all we want to d0 is plop on the couch and not think anymore?
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9 Tips for When You’re Feeling Stressed and Need to Slow Down
- One thing you can do is to join a gym. I’ve always belonged to gyms, but I usually did my own workouts. Gradually, I felt bored with my regular routines. So I joined a a different gym that offers a variety of classes – water exercise, Qi Gong, Yoga, Fit & Flex. I especially enjoy the water exercise class. Somehow it feels so healing.
- Start using a timer. I wrote a book, Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day and sometimes I follow my own advice, and sometimes I forget to. When I adhere to the formula, I can get a lot down. So get the book or borrow a copy from a friend and stick to the program. That’s what I’ll be doing.
- I just signed up for a course on meditation. I’ve taken it before but felt as though I needed a refresher course. If you don’t want to meditate, spend a few seconds breathing in the morning. Even when I do that simple act, my priorities for the day somehow magically fall into place.
- Pay attention to your breathing. There is a syndrome called computer anxiety. It can leave us practically hyperventilating as we work. If you find that you are feeling anxious as you work, stop, take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and repeat the process two or three times. You’ll feel better.
- Pay attention to how you position your body. If you don’t have an ergonomic setup, get one. It needn’t be expensive. Get a good chair. (I use a ball chair.) Make sure that your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle, and get an ergonomic mouse to protect your hands from carpal tunnel.
- Scan your body from time to time. Are your shoulders raised to your ears? Mine sometimes are. Are you curving your neck? Where are your feet? Make sure your body is comfortable and do what you can to prevent shoulder and neck aches.
- Establish a list of goals. Don’t be unrealistic and you can be lax with some of the due dates. I did this at the beginning of the year and it helps to keep me focused and set my priorities. You don’t want to be overambitious and overextend yourself. I’ve overextended myself in past careers trying to meet unrealistic goals and I’m here to say that there’s a price to pay for working 50- to 60-hour weeks, and the price isn’t worth it. Be realistic.
- Learn to say no. Okay, this is a real struggle for me, but I’m vowing to get better at it. You see, whenever someone asks me to write a guest post, I answer, “Sure!” Well, that’s got to change. I now have three monthly writing commitments, plus my own blog where I publish posts twice a week. I vow to say no to any more requests.
- In addition to taking the Qi Gong class at the gym, I promise to check out the Yoga class.
Okay, I vow to slow down, focus on my priorities, and take better care of myself. Does anyone else?
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Author of this blog: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She wrote several social media books including Social Media Just for Writers and The Author’s Guide to Goodreads. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, and finding new readers. Her clients have included authors of every genre and writers’ conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Sign up for her free email course.
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