Friday, April 17, 2009

It's time to de-stress, if ever so briefly!

It's tough out there. Whether you run your own business, work for somebody else or work at home taking care of the kids, things are tight. People are grumpy. Budgets are cut and, well, it's just plain stressful. That got me to thinking of tips I've heard and used to create a little peace and relaxation in the middle of the day.

Always remember, if you're stressed and in a bad mood, you project it through everything you do. Personally, my jaws clench, and I become short with people. And that's no fun, for me or them. I'm not as effective as a leader, a mother or a friend. And while a little stress is good for performance, a lot of stress throws you and your nervous system out of whack, leading to nasty physical consequences as well as leaving you vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

So, it's time for a break! Here are my five favorite tips.

1. Have a personal jam session. Get out the headphones and listen your favorite up-beat song. Nothing gets me moving like Tina Turner.

2. Get out of the office, or the house. Change the scenery! Take a 15-minute walk and get some fresh air. You will be more productive if you give your brain a rest.

3. De-clutter your desk. You will feel better instantly—I promise! The distracting call of “the piles” will be silenced, enabling you to concentrate on your next feat.

4. Connect. Talk to your team. Ask others about their day. If they're smiling, you're going to smile back. It's contagious! If you work alone, or you're home alone, call a best friend. She needs you as much as you need her right now.

5. Laugh. Yes, laughter is my cure all. Here's a great stat from my book: Preschool children laugh up to 400 times a day, but adults only laugh 17 times a day on average. C'mon! Take the edge off and have a little fun.

Enjoy your weekend!

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