Ah, a new week. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I love Mondays. Other times they freak me out. Today I feel mostly overwhelmed and stressed. Some of the things overwhelming me are awesome—new opportunities, exciting meetings, bold visions. Some things facing me this week are stressful—looming deadlines, typical start-up business financial uncertainties, hard decisions to make. So this post is from me … to me. If it helps you too, then awesome.
5 Things to do today to de-stress:
1. Spend 15 minutes writing.
This always works for me. I prefer old-fashioned pen on paper. Take out the legal pad or molskine, close the door and just start writing. Fill a page. Don’t edit your thoughts. Get out whatever is there—it can be your biggest fears or dreams—or your grocery list. Just empty your head onto that paper. Once it lives there, you can deal with it. Trust me.
2. Email someone you haven’t heard from in a while.
Do this fresh off the writing experience. It may be someone whom you thought of as you were writing. I’ve found this to almost always work in mysterious ways. I journaled 6 months ago. At the time I was stressed about getting new clients. I thought of an old friend who had just been hired at a new job while I was writing. I emailed him to congratulate him. He called right back to say that he was looking for help with a video. Now his new company is a client of ours.
3. Learn from someone smarter than you.
Just take 15-30 minutes. You know the people who make you think differently. For me it might just mean reading an entry from Seth Godin’s blog or listening to a podcast on my way home. I’ve found that just opening myself up to new ideas has an immediate reward.
4. Ask for advice.
What is the one thing keeping you up at night? What worries you? Odds are you have a friend who has made it through a similar time and can give you advice. This is usually just a quick text for me—just asking for 10 minutes on the phone this week. “Call me when you have 5 min.”
I run, but not everyday. I don’t always love doing it, but I like how I feel after. Last week I only got out 2 days. Today I will run though. For you, it can be a walk after work or an intense workout at the gym, but just do something. My moments of clarity tend to come during or shortly after working out. (There is something magic about a post-workout shower to free your mind. There’s actually some science behind it.)
I’m doing these things today … because I’m a little wound up. Join me if you want. Let me know how it goes.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Andrés Nieto Porras