This past week has been A WEEK. You know, when the normal Monday through Friday feels more like a month than a week? There was a lot going on at work, home life was nuts, and each time I started to feel like I could finally wrap my arms around things, in came another blow. The worst. But once the crazy started to die down and the work week came to a close, I knew that I needed to take some time to take a breath, clear my mind and get ready for the weekend ahead.
A big part of self care is recognizing those transitions. The transition between being in a hectic or stressful situation and then moving into a place that is more peaceful. For me I need to have that separation, some time in between to wind down before I place myself into the next setting. If I’m running 100 mph and then abruptly stop and go into weekend mode, I find that it’s not as enjoyable for me. My mind is still running, my work hat is still on, and the to do lists and weekend projects quickly begin to take over.
I like to take 5-10 minutes to take a breath, go for a walk or just sit in silence to help relax myself and my brain so I can appreciate what’s next. The way I visualize this is kind of like having a messy desk, but in your thoughts, right? Picture a desk, then there are papers scattered all over it: one of the papers could represent that presentation that you need to prepare for at work, then another stack of paper is the school project you need to help your child with, then that pile over there is the conversation you had that keeps playing in your head because there was something you said that maybe could have been explained better or worded differently. The desk is a mess with all of these things that are consuming your mind. In that transitional moment, I imagine myself filing away those thoughts, or those papers, rather, that are scattered all over the desk. I’m not forgetting about them, but I’m mentally putting them away for now so my desk is clear and has space for other things.
When the papers are filed and my thoughts are cleared, I am more relaxed and ready to take on that next thing. This week, I took a walk with my daughter around the neighborhood. I took some deep breaths, appreciated the cool breeze and the exercise made me feel better.
Here are some other ideas that can help you make the transition from crazy to calm:
- Drink some tea or a beverage you enjoy
- Take a warm shower
- Listen to your favorite song
- Light a candle (lavender has been known to be a very calming scent)
- Take some deep breaths
Do you have another way that you like to transition from stress to relaxation? Let me know in the comments!