“Stress is when you wake up screaming and you realize you haven’t fallen asleep yet” – Author Unknown
This quote hits home for me, not because I wake up screaming; that would be creepy, however the other morning, 3am to be exact, I jumped out of bed and headed to the shower. Why 3am? I thought it was 5am, the time I needed to be up to start my day of extremely important client meetings and business ventures. My alarm didn’t go off. I simply believe that because it’s so hard for me to turn my wandering mind off when I go to bed I stressed myself out in my sleep enough to make me believe that it was time to get up. It’s not something I’m proud of at all. I have a friend that tells me often that I need to sleep more often or asks me why I only slept 4 hours last night. I brush it off and say I can handle it blah blah blah or like today, blame it on the extra innings of the World Series game, but really a lot of it is stress. I can’t fall asleep because I haven’t been successful in finding a way to completely disconnect when my head hits the pillow. I replay my day in my head, think of what will take place tomorrow and other randomness that I really shouldn’t focus on, but I do.
This is reason #1 why today was a stressful day.
In business I have taken on an intern and she is great, but I still do all of the work BECAUSE I CHOOSE TO. She has told me several times when I mention how insanely busy I am; “Kim, this is why you have an intern”, and she’s right. I stress myself out taking on everything when I have help that can alleviate the stress I am bringing upon myself.
This is reason #2 why today was stressful
2 1/2 weeks ago I was diagnosed with bronchitis and pneumonia and I’m still working through side effect of the prednisone and antibiotics. I’m still exhausted halfway through my day because I’m still recovering. I’m overly warm all day long, my body feels bruised and my heart races occasionally thanks to those side effects. I get winded very quickly thanks to not only the illness, but being an asthmatic. I try to not complain and maybe because I don’t tell people that I still feel like shit, I stress myself out more. I don’t know, but I do know that being sick in itself is extremely stressful, especially when you’re a business owner without employees. The same friend that encourages me to sleep more asked me if I had a plan for KiMedia Strategies should I end up even sicker than I was…. hmmm…. Reason #2 could help with this.
Not feeling 100% is reason #3 why today was stressful
So I met up with a friend briefly this evening and because of all of the above reasons and some other random bits of frustration, I spent a while venting, but before that was near tears in the car driving to meet him. Maybe if I would have allowed myself a good old fashioned crying session I wouldn’t have unleashed my ridiculousness on him, or maybe it would have been worse?! The only thing I know for certain is that being able to get it out felt really good, but it may not be the most practical way to deal with stress.
I’ve decided that I need to change a few things because reasons 1 and 2 are more than likely (according to my intelligent friend) reasons why #3 is happening. Looking back on the times that I was extremely ill I was also under ridiculous amounts of stress. The first time I was dealing with being in a bad car accident as well as the death of my Grandma. The second time I ended up in the same boat, I had just lost my Dad. Last year I wound up in the hospital a week after I spoke at a TEDx event, which was the most stressful speaking gig I’ve ever done, and days after running around at an event I helped organize for months. This year/ time around I am stressed because of family and business. Being stressed out doesn’t mean that I hate work or that anything is necessarily bad, it’s just that I am taking on a lot and have people that I need to lean on for help. This is what I must change.
My goal is to de-stress my life one step at a time.
Step 1: Get to bed earlier – after tonight’s game 7 of the World Series – experiment with different ways to disconnect; relaxing sounds, music, melatonin…. SUGGESTIONS WELCOME
Step 2: Listen to my intern. That’s right, you heard me correctly. I need to start allowing people to help me. The only way business can be successful is to allow others to help and I need to remember this – Thanks Courtney!
Step 3: Get away from the computer. Go for more walks, watch a movie without the laptop in front of me, have some wine with a friend, get back to drawing and painting….. There are so many things I can do for 15 minutes to a couple of hours that doesn’t have to be focused on business.
Step 4: Drink less caffeine. I really think this will help with step #1.
Step 5: Make it a habit to get to the gym at least 4 times a week. Working out clears my mind because I get lost in the music blaring in my ear and I don’t have any technology except for my Blackberry, and lets face it, that barely qualifies as decent technology lol
These 5 initial steps may help me get 100% back to being healthy as well as prevent venting sessions like the one that took place today.
How do you de-stress?