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Mindful Leadership

‘Tis the Season to De-Stress

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This time of year is typically one of the most stressful times of year for most people.  The days are getting shorter with less daylight, and in some places less sun light.  And as the end of the year approaches we create what, in some cases, is an artificial “end point”.  This can create a mentality that “everything” needs to be completed before the holidays.  Then there is preparation for the holidays, shopping, and for some, trying to see “everyone” they have not seen all year.

No wonder this can be such a stressful time!

In light of all the external stressors, it becomes even more important to consciously focus on de-stressing, if you are to maintain some inner peace and to actually enjoy the festive season.

Here are some tips that you may find useful:

1. When you notice your mind racing with the endless “to do” lists, immediately STOP and take a few deep breaths.  This act of breathing consciously with bring you right back to the present moment and help you get anchored right here, right now.

2. If you feel stressed or anxious because of a looming deadline, take 5 minutes to walk.  Now you may think, “I don’t have 5 minutes to spare, how am I going to go for a walk?!”  The answer is simple, just by getting up and allowing the body to move, you may gain perspective and break the stress cycle.  All it takes is 5 minutes.  You could easily waste more than 5 minutes worrying about the deadline.  And,

3. Take time in your day, as many days as possible, and ideally, every day, to do something for yourself.  It could mean sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, without doing anything else.  It could be going for a short walk, perhaps a 10 minute walk at lunch time.  If you enjoy music, it could mean listening to one song without any other distractions.  Just listen to the piece of music with your whole being.  The average song is 3-4 minutes.

Then you can go back to what you need to do, refreshed.  Paying attention to deliberately “de-stressing” will enable you to be resilient in this hectic season, and afford you the opportunity to experience more pleasure, peace and happiness.

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