Well, it’s the second day of October now, but still the beginning of a new month, and as we near the end of the year, it’s a perfect time to take stock of our achievements and road-bumps and refocus ourselves to go soaring into 2016 on the highest note! 🎵
I shared on Facebook and Twitter last night that I had just led my first training in a team call and it was SUPER fun and I asked if there was interest in me doing a blog post about my topic. The response was quite positive! At the end of my presentation, another coach told all of us that there is a free accountability group happening for the 30 Day Push, a free 30 day program from Chalene Johnson, built around short daily videos and exercises to master organization, get focused and achieve your goals.
So the same night that I was talking about creating a stress-free environment in chaos, there’s a group starting a 30 Day Push challenge! Serendipity? Coincidence? Maybe. Awesome? Definitely. So, I’m going to write my thoughts below, but I’ve already registered for the 30 Day Push and completed Day 1! You should register here and join us on this awesome journey through this month! (you can catch up on Day 1 and 2 today!)
Creating a Stress-free Environment in Chaos
I’ve been living out of one big suitcase, one carry-on suitcase and one duffel bag, shuffling between 70 something hotel rooms and my bunk on the bus, through 63 cities in 15 countries since February. I often wake up in the morning and don’t know what country I’m in, let alone what city. When I write these words I feel a creeping nervousness up the back of my neck and I start to think about how I don’t have my pots and pans, fridge, freezer, all my boots, my dresses, my car, my incense, my bed, my boyfriend or my close friends and family around me. All of those things are aspects of my life that are stable and calming, or at least that’s what I thought before this tour happened.
With all this chaos thrown into the mixing pot of my current life situation (and, let’s be honest, a lot of my life is chaotic, even when I’m home, due to the erratic schedules of a freelance string player), you would think that my life and brain would be an utterly confusing mass of shot nerve endings, lost exclamation points and many swear words. And it definitely is sometimes. But the truth is, I’m more stable and calm than I’ve ever been in my life thanks to this tour and being a Beachbody coach.
Recently, as the tour is coming to a close, and I’ll be returning to my “normal” life soon, whatever that means, I’ve been thinking a lot about the tour, the changes that I’ve gone through over these 9 months and how I’ve grown, mentally and emotionally, (and how my biceps, calves and hamstrings have grown physically!).
So why, and perhaps more importantly, how am I calmer, more collected, more focused, less stressed and happier in this chaotic environment than I’ve ever been before? I have always traveled a lot in my life and I feel lucky to be able to travel for work, but with travel comes a certain feeling of unrest and uprootedness. So, for a number of years I have been working on creating a sense of home and calm within myself, whether I am actually home in LA in a hotel in Norway or in an airport in Jakarta. This ability was really tested on this tour, since we were in so many different places, and since becoming a Beachbody coach, I’ve had more responsibilities. But it’s all been an amazing learning and growing experience.
We all have chaos in our lives. Maybe you have one or three children, maybe you’re working a full time job or a few part-time jobs, maybe you’re having issues in a relationship or your family is going through a tough time, or maybe you just feel stressed from everyday activities. We are all affected by different triggers, but we ALL need to chill out.
I’m going to share four tips here. These are some of the things that have helped me over the years and definitely more recently as I’ve taken more onto my plate, to reduce and try to eliminate stress in my life, whatever chaos might be swirling around me.
- TIME FOR YOURSELF:
Take 10-15 minutes a day for yourself. This is a time to reflect, look forward and back, and breathe. This could be in bed, before you open your eyes, it could be on a walk around the block in the middle of the day, it could be writing in your journal before bed, but try to have it be uninterrupted time where you are conscious and relaxed, breathing freely and not trying to plan your day, but instead reflect on how your body feels, how you reacted to a certain event, what you’re looking forward to, something that you’re grateful for etc. This simple act of taking time to yourself is a level of personal development that targets the soul and helps calm and destress everyday activities.
- PLAN AHEAD:
For years I’ve written reminders on sticky notes, filled my “notes” app on my phone with “to do” lists and set alarms to remember certain appointments or calls. If I tried to hold all my calls, reminders and things to buy at the store in my head, there’s no way I’d remember everything, and my brain space needs to be clear for things in my more immediate future. There’s no reason to keep an appointment for next Tuesday in your brain this Monday. If I’m in the middle of writing an email or sweating through my workout, and something pops into my head that I need to do, I quickly jot it down and then take care of it later. I take 30 mins at night time to plan my work out for the next day. I use Evernote on my computer and phone to write my reminders and lists (awesome app! It syncs really well and you can send notes like shopping lists between users or to email) and I use Post Planner to schedule all my posts for my various groups, my FB pages and my blog. Going to bed with a clear head and already-made plans for the next day will make for much better and uninterrupted sleep, which in turn helps tremendously in keeping your emotions even and energy up during the day.
- BE YOU:
This is huge. It’s important to be yourself in EVERY situation that life throws at you. I guarantee that you will be much more stressed out if you care about what other people think and try to mold yourself into something that others want or like, instead of just focusing on being the best YOU that you can be. This is something that I have to remind myself daily and it’s taken me a while to get to a place where I feel like I can really practice this. Be strong in your choices, your convictions, your actions, your words, and try not to hurt anyone else, and I promise that you will be calmer, more collected and in control of your stress levels.
- SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE:
This could easily be my Buddha-yogi-hippie-flower child speaking but I really really want to stress this. Like I said in the beginning, I have been living out of a suitcase for over 9 months now and it’s been fine. I have my clothes, my toiletries, my viola, my Shakeology, my food, my computer and my books and I’m all set. Obviously, when you live in a house you need kitchen stuff and many other things of course, but here’s a story for you about how much of that may be necessary… I moved into an apartment in LA where I lived for a year that had no kitchen. Thank goodness it came with a full sized fridge for my farmers market hauls and the majority of my food. I washed my dishes in my bathtub. It was basically a hotel room containing a room, a bathroom and a closet. But it was awesome. It really taught me about living simply. I bought a baby changing table from Ikea (not a joke and actually a perfect solution!) and that served as my kitchen. It housed my cutting board on the top with my hotplate and the shelves were storage for my pot, pan, plates, silverware, limited dry food, vitamix, toaster oven, juicer and electric kettle. I cooked incredible food in there including vegan cinnamon rolls although no one believed I had baked those in my toaster oven. I also practiced my instruments, had rehearsals (with one other person as the only place to sit was on my bed) and never felt pinned in at all. Now, I totally understand that when you have a family you need more “stuff,” but just think about what areas of your life you could materialistically simplify. Maybe you don’t need as many DVDs on the shelf, or there are appliances that you don’t ever use in the kitchen. Maybe those clothes in the back of the closet could be given to a local donation center. Once you declutter your physical life, your emotional and mental life clear as well, as I had to learn through experience, but now am incredibly grateful for the lesson.
Simplifying your life can also be extended to what we put into our bodies, through the food we eat. My father always reminds me that the closer we eat to the Earth, the healthier we will be!
In review… Take those few precious moments to yourself daily to breathe and think, plan your daily, weekly or even monthly schedules out on paper (or on a device) so you can be free of them in the moment, proudly be yourself to the fullest and share your story with truth, trials, failures and successes instead of trying to be someone else and finally try to simplify your material life so that your mental and emotional life doesn’t carry so much weight.
But in all seriousness, we can do many things to help ourselves be less stressed in our daily lives, including the above practices and countless more, but obviously we live in an age where we need to be alert and available at all times, our phones are attached to our bodies always and hyper activity is the new normal. As we are still human, all this stimulation can unfortunately cause major stress, worry and even physical and/or mental sickness.
Try some of these exercises, come up with your own, share your ideas with me, and remember, once you have a clear idea of what you’re doing and your path is set, organized and free of clutter, your stress levels will decrease significantly. ✨
NOW the 30 Day Push! Sign up here and let me know when you sign up so I can add you to the Facebook accountability group! I’m in this with you guys. Let’s get focused, organized, collected, de-stressed and healthy for awesome end of the year shenanigans!
Peace, love and desserts 😉