Some days just get out of hand. The workload is heavy, and still the emails and calls flood in. The pace can seem frenetic, and the constant interruptions not only disrupt your actions but your thought process as well. You move so fast you feel unproductive and sloppy. By the end of the day, you feel stressed and edgy. Worse, you can't shut down your brain because you feel you might have missed something important.
It doesn't have to escalate to the point at which you head home to snap at your kids and yell at your dog. There are simple ways to gain control during the most hectic and frantic of days. Below is a simple, 15-minute regimen from writing coach Carolyn Roark, Ph.D., who taught college students for years and knows a little about creating calm amid a world of chaos.
The next time the world is spinning you in all directions, go find a quiet place for 15 minutes and use this exercise to recenter yourself in the universe.
5 minutes of physical activity
Even though you may already have your blood pumping from running around the office, Roark suggests that heading outside and running or fast walking around the building will give you a break from the immediate chaos. Separation from the action will help your mind let go of the immediacy of issues. The release of endorphins will lift your mood and begin to break the stress.
4 minutes of gratitude
Now that your body is a little looser, you can start to clear your thoughts. The easiest way to slow down the pace is to remember why you are doing all of this to begin with. Use these minutes to contemplate how grateful you are for the people around you who support you and add value to your life. Be thankful for good health, good opportunities, and the wonders of the world you live in. You can take a broad approach and make a list, or pick one person and write a note. Send it tomorrow; no need for another task right now.
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