managing stress

Be in the moment

Managing Your Stress

Part Three: Unavoidable Uncertainties

Topic: taking life one day at a time

I’ve talked a lot before about what a planner I am. Again, it’s that type A personality in me. By Monday or Tuesday I usually have my whole week planned out. I know the major things I want to accomplish each day; I know when I’m seeing my family and friends; I know what the week has in store.

As I talked about in part one of the series, planning is a great way for me to stay organized when I’m busy. However, oftentimes my plans stress me out.

Having an entire planner full of responsibilities can be somewhat daunting. While I’m working through one day, I’m able to look ahead at the next day and the next day and the next day.

Before I know it, I’m focusing on tasks that are days ahead; I’m not in the here and now anymore. I’m not even caught up in the current day’s stress; I’m way ahead in another day’s stress!

That’s when it’s time to pump the breaks and STOP

and BREATHE.

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Being in the present moment is one of the best ways to face a busy schedule. It means getting through only one task at a time, using all of your energy to focus on that one task.

It’s a much more productive way to work because you’re able to give each task your best effort — part of your brain isn’t elsewhere.

It’s also the best way to enjoy your chunks of free time. So often I’ve been physically present on an outing with my fiance, but mentally I’ve been elsewhere. And it took away the fun for both of us.

What’s the point of even giving myself free time if I’m going to stress out the entire time?!

It used to be so difficult for me to be in the now. As I’ve practiced doing it, though, I’ve realized it’s a much more enjoyable way to live life.

Being present allows me to free up space in my cluttered brain and think clearer when completing assignments and other tasks. Being present also allows me to experience all that’s going on around me and to enjoy even the littlest things — the warm breeze blowing in through the window or a quick interrupting kiss from my fiance.

So yes, use your planner. Schedule out your time. But don’t let the schedule be forever on your mind. Once things are scheduled, you’re good to go. There’s truly no need to fret anymore because you’ve already set aside the time to get everything done. Now, just get through the week one day at a time; get through the day one hour at a time. Enjoy each little moment because you never know if it could be your last, and life’s too short not to appreciate all the beautiful sights, sounds, smells, tastes, thoughts and people in your life.

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I want to thank everyone for reading the Managing Your Stress series. I hope my advice has helped in some small way. The series will soon be moving to the Full of Life section under the Mentality subcategory. 

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