Monday, June 21, 2010
Here’s a chance to practice solving stressful problems. For example, if your goal is to quit feeling rushed on your way to work, you can prepare for work the night before or leave for work 15 minutes earlier. Pretend you’re a contestant on a game shoe, and play the following game, matching solutions to the stressful situations at the left. This game may give you some ideas for handling your next stressful day.
It was the worst of times…
That’s how it usually feels when you’ve had a bad day. The situations below are typical scenes from a day in the life of a stressed-out person.
1. I can’t seem to get to work on time. It’s as though my body is programmed to arrive 15 minutes late, which always starts me off on the wrong foot.
2. I have an uncanny ability to choose the slowest moving lines at the grocery store, which put me on a slow burn all day.
3. My boss seems to think I’m Wonder Woman. I don’t want to be uncooperative, but she just keeps giving me more work. What should I do?
4. There’s never enough time to do the things I want to do. But I can’t give up anything.
5. As I stood to make my presentation, my mind went blank and my eyes glazed over. All I could see was my job going up in smoke.
6. Is it too much to ask? All I want is to leave the house once without having to go on a scavenger hunt for my keys.
7. I’ve got a deadline tomorrow. I know I’m not going to meet it. There’s a lot riding on this. I don’t want to turn in a half-baked project, but I can’t get it done. Help!
8. Can you believe it? They just showed up on my doorstep unannounced –and I didn’t have one free minute to spare.
Select Your Solutions
It’s your turn to problem-solve. What would you do in each of the situations? Remember that there may be more than one right answer for each situation. Or, you may think of other solutions altogether.
A Buy an answering machine and let it pick up calls on evenings when you’re busy.
B Be direct. Express your feelings. Come up with some alternatives.
C Turn back in this workbook and try this exercise again!
D Write your weekly goals in a notebook and carry it with you. When you think of something to add, jot it down. When you complete a task, cross it off your list.
E Focus on what you can do to prepare
F Put your alarm clock across the room so you have to get out of bed on time.
G Give yourself enough time between appointments. If you think something will take 2 hours, allow an extra 30 minutes.
H Try deep breathing, visualization, or a stretching exercise.
I Organize your house and office so that everything has a logical place.
J Always keep reading material with you so you never feel as though you’re wasting time.
K Plan ahead. Don’t wait until your gas tank is on reserve, your stamps have run out, or your deadline is one day away.
L Light some candles, put on some soft music, and take a hot bath.