We've all been there. It's only 9:15 and we're already flustered and overwhelmed. Getting our kids off to school didn't go as easily as usual (when does it ever go easy?), we have hundreds of unread email and we just found out that we have to completely change a project we have been working on for a long time. Whew! Going back to bed is not an option. We could break down in tears but who would listen? What can be done for the busy business mom?
Let me share with you five ways that I have trained myself to take 15 minute mental breaks when things feel like they are rapidly slipping out of control.
1. I turn off my phone, close my office door, warm up my coffee (or get a second cup), put my feet up on my desk and just enjoy my coffee. I think about how great my coffee is how and how great it feels to just be "having coffee" with nothing bothering me. (Sounds silly but it works)
2. While you're working have worship music on in the background. I use allworship.com often or just play my favorite worship songs on yourtube. There is something about Chris Tomlin singing "Our God is greater" that seems to put all my concerns in perspective.
3. Scan your facebook newsfeed and comment kindly on some posts. The key here is to actually thoughtfully post comments and the second key is to do it for only 15 minutes at a time. Sowing feedback into someone else's blog makes you feel great and forces you to take your mind off your problems for a couple minutes. You will feel refreshed and have learned something too. Win win.
4. Put things in perspective. Will any of these issues even be issues tomorrow? Probably not. If you know consciously that the things that are bugging you are only short term inconveniences then do yourself a favor and don't get too worked up. Take a breath, make a to-do list and then inch by inch work through it.
5. Count your blessings. When things seem overwhelming stop and ask "what is going right? What am I grateful for?" Set the timer on your phone and for 15 mintues solid list all the great things you've got going on in your life. Your state will change and you'll feel like a whole new person.
I hope some of these ideas can help but If ideas #2-5 don't work, go back to idea #1 and have another cup of coffee. Remember: you're a leader. Leadership is hard. You have what it takes, you will get through this and you will have a great day in spite of a rocky start. Smile, sing, laugh....have fun.