Have you noticed how busy we all are lately?  Everyone talks about being “stressed out”!

The world we live in with cell phones, video conferencing, Instagram, snap chat, etc. is lively and interactive, but it can also feel overwhelming and stressful.  As I see more and more clients who are coming in with stress related to living in a 2016 world, I have been contemplating what we can do about this overload.

One of the challenges we face is to not get caught up in what a client of mine refers to as “fomo” – fear of missing out.  The idea that if we don’t do it all, we will somehow miss out on something really important.  However, we might want to challenge ourselves to look at if we are even present for those moments if we are busy rushing from one thing to the next.

Another challenge to not being so busy is fear of our own emotional state.  Sometimes we stay busy to avoid feelings.  If you don’t sit still, maybe you don’t feel the sadness of a loss or the hurt of a wrongdoing as acutely.  Although this can be a temporary break from emotion, it will almost always catch up with you either through an emotional meltdown, a weakened immune system or intense anxiety.

So if we know it is creating problems how do we “fix” it?  Below are a few suggestions that I utilize for myself and work with clients on to help us reconnect.  Some are simple and easy and others take courage and a willingness to challenge yourself.  I encourage you to try a few of these ideas, get curious and see how they feel and work in your life.

  • Take 5 minutes a day (I know it will feel really long) to just “be”, doing nothing
  • Keep your daily to-do list to 3 items….you can keep a “master” list somewhere else, but the one you look at should have just 3 items
  • Smile frequently throughout your day – you’ll be surprised at the results
  • Start a meditation practice or yoga practice
  • Have a protected night where you say “no” to all plans – this takes courage and working through the above mentioned obstacles (“fomo” and feelings!)
  • Take a media break for at least 30 minutes of your evening each night.  Turn off all gadgets and just connect with yourself and your family
  • Don’t  over book your weekends, be really judicious with your time, protect it
  • Write a little each day
  • Read a poem each day
  • Get really comfortable with saying, “Let me look at my calendar and I’ll let you know if I can do that” rather than an automatic “yes”
  • Notice the beauty in your surroundings – really try to find it rather than seeing only the broken

May your life get more connected and less stressed out in 2016!