Do you have your standard answers for when someone is making polite conversation and asks “how are you?” or “how are things going?”  My go-to answer is “good.”  However, over the last month I have felt overly stressed and exhausted but continue to answer the “how are you” question with my standard “good” answer.  Is this a detriment?  Am hurting myself by making it appear that I truly can hold everything on my shoulders?

Everyone deals with stress differently.  For me, I need three things.  Rest, ability to talk to someone I trust, and exercise. So far, I have been doing pretty well at meeting my stress needs but its not easy as each of my de-stressors takes time.  Yet, time-away from doing what I think I should be doing, such as working, makes carving out time to rest, communicate and exercise more difficult than it should be.


While I reflect on my needs to be a better: wife, sister, mother, employee, daughter, etc. during stressful times, here is what I have learned.

  1. Take the time to talk –> talking with supportive friends or family is like medicine. Friends and family members can not only be supportive my listening or giving you a shoulder to cry on but they can in turn make you laugh and help look at the positive side of things.
  2. Be Active –> Being physically active takes planning.  But by planning activity into your schedule it can relieve mental and physical tension.  Need to hit something, join a boxing club.  Have limited time, run it out. All in all, be active to release some “happy hormones” to make you feeling better for what lies ahead.
  3. Remember to laugh –> Laughter makes us feel good.  Watch a funny movie, read a comic, or talk to a friend that always knows how to make you laugh.  Whatever you do, laugh before you go to bed.
  4. Slow Down –> Think about the “pace” not the “race”  to get things accomplished.  It’s not about how fast you can get things done but rather, how well.  Also, you don’t want to run through life without enjoying all the small things that matter.  Stop…take a breath…now what is it that needs your immediate attention?
  5. Sleep –> Go to bed when tired as your body needs six to eight hours of sleep each night.  Adequate sleep can lead to greater productivity and a greater sense of balance to take on the day.

If all else fails, remember that stress happens but don’t let it rule you.  Rather, remember what is most important to you and take a step back to relish it those moments.