How do you manage stress?
I feel very fortunate that I have very little drama or stress in my life right now. That doesn’t mean I am not busy or have too much going on. But what I have noticed is my attitude towards my life and towards drama and stress has shifted. I am choosing not to create drama or to add anything that creates stress (at least I try not to do too much!)
I monitor my calendar and my time more carefully than I ever have before and I have tight boundaries around when I will work and when I will not. I love my work and it would be easy to do it 24/7 but that would mean sacrificing my health and time with my family. I am not willing to do that again.
I owned a publishing company for 11 years that was deadline driven and very stressful in many, many ways. I didn’t get to spend enough time with my kids or with my husband. I gained 50 pounds that I am still working to release. And for all the effort that I put in, I didn’t have a lot of money to show for it.
Managing stress has a direct impact on my bottom line
I am learning to build my current business as a business coach for creative women with big dreams very differently, with more spaciousness and more allowing rather than pushing and intensity. I am making more money than I ever have before and I even have money in the bank! In fact, in August I was away for 3 weeks of the month, worked very little and had my highest grossing month ever.
One of the biggest shifts I made in my life and my business was to not work on weekends. Instead I paint (now my daughter did say it’s not much different than when I am working… but that’s another blog post.)
I spent most of this past weekend painting, which is fun and relaxing for me and allows my mind to rest. The painting above is one I completed on Saturday. As I was working on this large painting, I realized that it needed more light, more drama and that I was afraid to add drama and ruin the painting.
Hmmm, what is the connection here, I asked myself, between the painting and my life. Not that I need or want drama but where am I afraid to step out, to add highlights, to shine more brightly and more boldly? Is fear of adding stress and drama holding me back?
I am not sure I have the answer to this question yet but it’s what’s on my mind today. What I can say for sure is that the more time I spend painting, connecting to my creativity and allowing my mind to roam freely, the more the answers come to me and the less stress I have in my life.
Clear connection between creativity and stress relief
There is a clear connection between creativity and stress relief. Coloring books are all the rage for adults right now. I think we are longing for a way to connect, to carve out down time and yet to feel that we are nourishing our hearts and spirit. You can see an article I wrote here on how to use coloring mandalas to relieve stress.
But I would also invite you to ask yourself – where in my life or my business am I intentionally creating stress and drama?
Who are you attracting and spending time with? Are your relationships healthy and stress free?
How clear are your boundaries around your time?
Are you choosing stress and if so why? What does stress have to teach you right now?
Grab a journal and some markers or crayons and explore this topic.
My business has grown by leaps and bounds this year because I choose to not create stress. One clear example I can share from my personal life relates to a decision we made about our house. We have a nice house, we like it, it’s in good shape and mostly up to date. There are some ideas we have for how to make it even better but they aren’t necessary, they are by choice. We looked at what we have going on in our life and work and ultimately decided that the stress of remodeling isn’t worth it right now. Our lives are simple and yet very full. We made a conscious decision to postpone the remodeling projects for now and trust that the right time is not now.
Where can you make some different choices about your life?