How many times have you turned on more lights or plugged into more sockets than your electrical power could handle? (Yes, I live in a New York City apartment building) What happened? Usually, because of an overload the electrical power would immediately shut down. In the ‘good old days’ that meant getting a flashlight, finding the fuse box and changing the fuse. Or worse yet, at times you would have to disturb the superintendent and have him to go into the basement to change the fuse. That alone was enough to make you blow your own fuse. Today? Not to worry, because we have circuit breakers. When there is a power failure, you either pull the lever, or flip some switches. Take the time to unplug from one or two outlets. Turn the circuit breakers back on, and voila! Power is restored.
Sometimes, our jobs and lives demand more power than our bodies can handle. We’re plugged into meetings, social media, correspondences, research, phone calls, deadlines, family, and friends. And, they are all demanding equal time and attention. We’re making decisions from the time we get up until we retire for the evening. What will the children wear to school? What will you make for their lunch? Will you meet with your child’s teacher or attend that all-important meeting? Should you return a phone call that could clinch a sale, or should you meet with your boss to discuss a growing problem? Whew! If something doesn’t give, we definitely will. Yes, we will shut down because of overload.
The solution? Stress breakers. Like circuit breakers, they allow you to restore power, but first you must pull the switch. So, when you sense a loss of your physical, mental, or emotional power, pull the switch. Unplug and then restore your power.
For five, ten, or fifteen minutes before that really important meeting or phone call; before you give needed attention to your family or friends; before you have to deal with an unpleasant situation; unplug and restore your power by trying the following stress breakers:
1) When stress is beyond bearable, call someone whose voice alone can ease your tension. (Grandma, grandpa, parents, best friend)
2) Keep a book of inspirations nearby. Read from it for five minutes.
3) In your mind, relive one of the best times you have ever experienced.
4) Walk away from your desk or location and take a ride on the elevator, or go to a private area in the women’s or men’s room. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for 15-30 seconds.
5) Take a walk around the block.
6) Sip slowly on a hot cup of soothing herbal tea.
7) Do some stretches while sitting or standing at your desk.
8) Put on your favorite song and sing or dance like you mean it.
9) Still yourself. Yes. Just be still. It allows you to reassess, regroup, and put things in proper perspective.
10) Laughter is truly the best medicine. So recall funny moments in your life or that of your family or friends’ lives and laugh, laugh, laugh.
Okay. These are my stress breakers. What’s yours?