Careful Now

I missed another day of writing, and I’ll be honest it was due to two things – work has been stressing me out and I actually keep forgetting. The level of work-related stress is genuinely far lower than that I have had to deal with in the past, but at the end of the day, stress is stress. I am far better equipped with dealing with it now, which is largely thanks to meditation, mindfulness, and appreciating the more important things in life. The support of my girlfriend also bolsters my image of myself and my abilities.

The problem with the stress that I have when it comes to work is that I question the value I bring to my work. If I do something wrong, I take it so to heart that I can’t see past the bad thing to find the good. I came up with a few exercises of my own to deal with these sort of situations, here’s a little taster:

a) I say to myself “Will I still feel this way in one week?”. If the answer airs on the side of “No”, then I simply cast my mind one week into the future, in which I will be carrying out similar tasks, with very few worries on my plate. If the answer is closer to “Yes”, I look at the situation more objectively. There’s a reason that this case is making me stress, what is the reason? Is it worth wasting my valuable time over? The answer to this is nearly always a big fat “No”.

b) I breathe. Plain and unwaveringly simple. Breathing, and focusing on the breath, helps me become more aware of myself. There’s an ephemeral moment in breathing that meditation has taught me. We all breathe an immeasurable number of times in our lives, we don’t dwell on this. We also carry out the same tasks for our jobs an immeasurable number of times, yet we focus on it to the point of taking years off our lives. Each task is like a breath, it comes and goes, they’re important for living, but one day they will end, and there is no point in dwelling on it.

c) I exercise. Obviously, if I get stressed in work I don’t immediately leave my desk and go for a run, but I will go for a walk during lunch or lift weights when I get home that evening. The dopamine from exercise helps balance my hormones, brings me greater relaxation, helps me sleep, and, most importantly, it reminds me that my health is my wealth.

If you’re stressed out about something related to work, try the first two actions, they’ve worked for me so far, and I hope they continue to work far into the future.

I can’t let the fact that I forgot to write twice this week go unnoticed either. The only excuse I have is – I’ve been busy. I’m making more time for myself in the evenings, visiting friends, hanging out with Caoimhe, reading. I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy reading. I understand that I must dedicate my time to this venture to tease out the creativity for my writing. I might write a post about time management…

Until the next time, your friend,