Picture the opening scene of The Proposal.
Ryan Reynolds plays Andrew, the assistant to one of New York City’s most well-known and powerful editors. Due to a power outage, his alarm clock doesn’t work, and no alarm goes off. When he does wake up, Andrew experiences that moment of panic realizing he is going to be late. He runs to the coffee shop to pick up coffees for himself and his boss and then sprints through traffic to get to his office. He hurriedly heads for the elevator and gets clipped by the door. Upon arriving to the office, Andrew is called out for being late. Then, just as he feels like he can catch his breath, a coworker runs right into him, spilling his boss’s coffee down the front of his shirt.
We’ve all had days like Andrew, when life seems completely overwhelming.
You wake up late.
You can’t find your shoes for the gym.
Traffic is at a stand-still.
You’re starving but you don’t have time to step out for lunch…
… and the list goes on and on. These are the days that cause most of us to stress out, get upset, or want to just give up and call it a day.
Unfortunately, we cannot control all the aspects in life that cause us stress. It’s not up to us what traffic will be like on a given day. We can’t always control project due dates, workloads, or difficult people. What we can do, however, is control our reactions to these stressors and try to mitigate situations before they overwhelm us.
Let’s go back to this morning.
Why did you wake up late?
Could you have gone to bed earlier last night or set another alarm to make sure you were well-rested and woke up on time?
And what if you put your shoes in a particular spot every day when you get home or set your gym clothes and shoes out the night before, to make sure you have everything you need?
How about not having time for lunch. What if you were to prepare a few meals at the beginning of the week to bring to the office for lunch?
By thinking ahead and planning for the chaos, you are setting yourself up to eliminate stressors.
Now let’s talk about the traffic. We, as individuals, do not get to control traffic. But what if you were to play calming music or your favorite podcast in the car? What about bringing a to-go mug with your favorite coffee or tea? By changing your state of mind to be more positive, you can lessen the impact that stress has on you throughout the day.
If any of this sounds familiar, or if you’ve been the Andrew, let me help you conquer stress. By learning tips and techniques to improve mindfulness and boost resilience, you can start to make even the most overwhelming of days more bearable.