September 30, 2010

Tip of the day

As many of you who’ve been reading this week know, tonight is the Ladies Night Out event at Faith UMC.  I have taken the lead in organizing the event, and I’ve been busy this week with last minute details and tweaks.  I’m looking forward to a fun and relaxing evening tonight, and I really hope you’ll join us!

When things get busy, I find that I’m even worse about taking care of myself than usual.  Below are a few tricks that I’ve learned from busy weeks:

  • Take time to breathe.  At least 5 times per day, focus on your breath.  Take slow and deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.  It calms your body and helps to lower your blood pressure and stress response.
  • Take time for yourself.  Yesterday my body was so tired, and it would have been very easy to opt out of my afternoon yoga class.  Yet, it was exactly what I needed.  I think I yawned through the first half of it, but as we began our standing poses my body started to wake up.  After the class I was more centered, relaxed, and energized.  Sounds like a contradiction to be relaxed and energized, right?  It isn’t.  My muscles were less tense, my thoughts were more positive, and my body was ready for the rest of the afternoon. 
  • Take some snacks with you.  Isn’t it funny how mothers will make sure their children eat healthy meals, get plenty of rest, and have exercise, but we don’t really model that behavior very well?  Yesterday, I left the house without having breakfast.  Luckily I had picked up a couple of Luna bars from Kroger (free after coupons).  Having one of those in my purse kept me from running through a fast food drive through for “nourishment”.   I ran back to the house before yoga and grabbed a baggie of grapes that I had prepped and ready.  It was a perfect, healthy snack.
  • Slow down to hurry up.  When you are in a rush to complete a task, you’re much more likely to make mistakes.  Sometimes the best thing that you can do is stop what you are doing, take a breath of fresh air outside, and then go back to the task with more focus. 
  • Don’t do it alone.  The art of delegating is a necessity to surviving a role as a leader.  Learn to ask for help when needed, and even more than that, let people help when they want.  Just because someone is doing something differently than you had planned, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong.  The time to delegate is at the beginning of the planning process.  Luckily, we have a great team of volunteers at our church, and the women and men helping with the event tonight have been awesome on every level.
  • Access your social supports.  When focused on one task, it is easy to "put your blinders on”.  Calling a friend to chat, getting together for a cup of tea, or enjoying a walk on a nice afternoon are all ways to connect. 
  • Take time for prayer and meditation.  You’ll be more centered, more positive, and more motivated than before. 

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