This has been a particularly stressful, anxiety-inducing, marathon of a week and I’d just like to take a moment to sit with that. If you’re anything like me, trying to remain focused, productive, and...polite, was a challenge.
These are not normal times and we must acknowledge that so that we can find healthy and pragmatic ways of dealing with it. That’s why today I wanted to share a couple of #hacks that I’ve been using to stay grounded and protect my mental health. Hopefully, they’ll spark ideas for you to deploy in I’m your daily routine.
The thing I’ve come to realize is that everyone is dealing with the stress and anxiety of our collective situations. It’s an important lens to maintain because I’m better equipped to look out for uncharacteristic or unusual behaviors.
Above all else, a lack of clarity is one of the primary root causes of increased anxiety and conflict, especially now, when in-person communication is less frequent and more nuanced. So, here’s how I ensure that I receive clarity at work -
✅ Identify the Source(s) - Unclear expectations, Inaccurate or misaligned perceptions, Decrease in productivity
✅ Determine Next Steps - Align on expectations, Address inconsistent perceptions, Identify PRIORITIES
✅ Focus and Execute - The idea is to clarify your expectations and remove barriers so that you can focus and execute
Even with focus and clarity, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be significant sources of stress and anxiety. I frequently experience stress with tight deadlines, interpersonal conflicts, and criticisms.
It’s important to focus on the actions that are within our control and accept those that are not. That’s being said, actions outside of our control are often some of the greatest sources of stress and anxiety. Here’s how I let off steam -
👉🏾 Venting - I’m lucky enough to have a network where I can vent and safely express my frustrations and even get some meaningful feedback.
👉🏾 Music - Sometimes the right song captures my frustrations and provides the catharsis that I need.
Selection: Don’t Like - Chief Keef, Never Scared - Bone Crusher, Push It - Rick Ross, March Madness - Future.
👉🏾 Exercise - Stressed out? Sweat it out! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve worked out issues in my head on a run. It won’t solve all your problems but it’s hard to hold on to anxiety after a workout.
Cultivate a Space for Yourself
One of the most important things we can all do to remain resilient and stress-free is to create a safe space for ourselves. Like I mentioned previously, our focus should remain on events that are within our control.
And, while stressors tend to be outside of our control, we can cultivate a mindset that keeps us feeling grounded. My approach is to focus on activities that improve my mental health daily. Here’s how -
✅ Routine - I try to focus on daily habits that are geared towards my health and well-being. I run, read, and meditate. These activities are for me and they help me feel accomplished regardless of the type of day that I’m having.
✅ Meditation - Life comes at you fast. I have the bad habit of checking my phone as soon as I wake up and that’s how soon the stresses start to flood into my day. But with meditation, I intentionally create a moment to connect with myself and how I’m feeling so I can chart the day I want to have.
✅ Hobbies - Hobbies can be fantastic de-stressors. I love movies, especially in-depth, dense narratives that transport me to different worlds where I can unwind for a few hours. I leverage my hobbies to create soothing experiences to offset my stress and anxiety.
This is a tough time! I won’t say that we are all in this together...because...we are all experiencing varying degrees of challenges. However, I hope that we can all be intentional about prioritizing our well-being.