Here in Charlotte, we’re about to be thrust into a little known thing called the DNC, the Democratic National Convention. This has been in the works for a while, so for many “thrust” is probably not correct, but that’s how it feels. Doesn’t matter how long you’ve known it was coming, when it finally arrives, it feels so sudden. I work in a building right smack dab in Uptown Charlotte. For those of you who don’t know, we call our downtown uptown instead. Maybe to be fancy? Who knows. But it’s uptown. I will be in said building for most of the week working. It’s going to be chaos. Awesome, wonderful, stressful, overwhelming chaos. I’m going to see and meet really cool people and be immersed in culture and passion. There’s a part of me that wants to run to the mountains and curl up in a blanket until it’s all over, but that would be silly. I wouldn’t get paid and I’d miss out on quite the experience. So I’m going to be in it.
Yesterday, the stress of it all hit me like a ton of bricks and I wasn’t prepared for it. Then I came to realize that I could add in bits of joy in my day to help relieve some stress. Stress, when it gets to be too much, is really harmful. It can hinder our immune systems, affect our sleep, cause breakouts…basically it’s not fun. So I would take five minute breaks during the workday for moments of joy when things got rough. I watched Ellen clips for a few minutes(a little embarrassing to be cracking up with headphones in your ears, but laughter is really good for the soul), I listened to music that motivated me, took a little coffee break here and there and all day I tried to eat healthy meals and snacks. After work, we went to the gym and that helped a ton. Trying to control what I can to help with the stress in the midst of things I couldn’t control.
My Tuesday feels so much less stressful now. It’s easy to get lost in the muck of stress and exhaustion, but that’s when we need to be aware and take care of ourselves the most. Get more sleep than usual, exercise, take our vitamins, add in more fruits and veggies(and maybe a little more chocolate). For me, a big part of feeling peace in the midst of chaos is turning to my faith. Reading my bible, journalling, praying. I immediately feel a release of the world’s weight on my shoulders. I don’t do it enough, really.
In the end, find what works for you. We really must be kinder to ourselves and take time out of our busy lives to experience little moments of joy.
How do you handle stressful days? I’d love to hear your remedies.