By Jon Randall
Chief Coaching Officer
As we go through changes during these unusual times, we all experience stress. It’s really important to reduce stress during these unusual times, so here are some techniques that you can use to keep stress down. Stress is the biggest thief of performance. It’s one of the biggest inhibitors that really holds us back.
Now, a little bit of stress is good for us. It lights the fire. It can motivate us. Think about a professional athlete that’s trying to be the best. Someone does slightly better. They really up their game and just get a little bit better. That kind of stress is good for us.
But when stress becomes too great, and the weight of the world is on us, it’s really debilitating. So here’s some ways to contain stress, and reduce it, and really should be framing it around energy management, because stress not only steals away performance, it steals away energy, and it may not be physical. It may be mental energy. You may feel more drained during these unusual times than normal.
So pay attention to you. Where is your stress coming from? Is there a certain topic or area of your life, or your business, that when you focus on it, it brings you stress? Is there a certain time of day, or certain people you’re talking to that give you stress? Just pay attention to that. If you can identify your stressors, then we have a chance to contain them, and possibly reduce or completely eliminate whatever that stressor might be.
Another thing to pay attention to is your life roles. Try and keep some semblance of balance right now. It’s really difficult when you’re working from home and all of your roles are suddenly all jammed together. You might be a spouse and a parent, and it’s all happening all at once, so it’s really important to have different time dedicated to the different roles in your life.
It’s hard to handle multiple roles. Studies show human beings aren’t good at that. And if you’re trying to juggle, and have plates spinning in three or four different areas of your life you’re not going to be very effective. So have dedicated time to work. Be intense about it, be at your best, and then have designated time to get out and be another role, maybe be a parent for a while. While kids are at home, or their doing their studies from home, have some dedicated time to help them. Have some dedicated time with your significant other that’s away from the other roles, so you can focus on that.
So try and find some balance there. Don’t let them all blend together. It will create more stress and drain more energy. Try and have some separation, go from one role to the other. The other aspects around stress and energy management that are important, it really comes down to what are you putting in your body? What’s your daily movement or exercise? And what’s your sleep like?
I read Tom Brady’s book, TB12. If you don’t know who Tom Brady is you’ve probably been living under a rock. It’s unbelievable the intensity that Tom Brady goes to in his health routine. What he puts in his body is very precise.
Now, when we get stressed and our routine gets out of whack, sometimes we put things into our body that aren’t ideal for us and it contributes to an energy drain, so be careful about that. If you need to snack, do a healthy snack, don’t have junk or sugary things that lead to crashing after that sugar rush. So just pay attention what you’re putting in your body, move every day, even if you just go walk outside and get some fresh air and then come in. It’s really important. I’d have designated times during the day to do that, just to keep yourself recharged Just going out, taking a deep breath can really be very, very refreshing. Again, when our routine changes, it’s tough to keep that up, so we have to build a new routine, and it might take weeks to get that routine in place.
Sleep is also so important. It’s something that I’ve taken for granted over the years when I was back in my early days in music, or my early years as an advisor in New York. I viewed sleep as practice for death, where it’s really unhealthy. I could stay up all night, or sleep a couple hours, and still go a hundred miles an hour. As we age every day and every year, we need sleep more, but sleep is so important for your stress management and energy management. Going back to Brady’s TB12 book, the amount of value he placed on sleep was significant. So be sure you’re getting proper sleep. If you need some help falling asleep, use some breathing techniques. We had a great D2 video with Dr. Zach Gerbarg on how to do that. It’s great to do as you’re falling asleep to let all the thoughts get out of your mind, and relax your body, and really get solid sleep.
One of the best stress and energy management things you can do is redirection. Do something different that’s not in your normal routine. I talked to somebody that said I went out and I worked in my garage and cleaned it up. And it felt so great to do something different. I felt like I accomplished something. I wasn’t thinking about all the other stressors in life.
So find some way to redirect, whether it’s watching Tiger King on Netflix, or doing a house project. Do something different to get yourself out of the normal routine and have some redirection. It will help you recharge. You’ll have more energy for the other roles in your life and be much more effective. So identify stress, keep it down, take care of you and get some redirection, especially on the weekends.
Everyone stay bullish, stay awesome, and we’ll talk to you soon.
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