Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Breathe . . .Just Breathe . . .

There are really days at work that can get us down. I had one of those “challenging” times at work last week (and it lasted the whole week with some remnants of the stress early this week), just when I am about to write this blog on relieving stress. Great timing, as usual!

I’d spare you all the details that created the stress that nearly cause me my sanity (with the NBI people and Human Resource working together to terminate one of our employees!). I’d rather tell you about some of those little “tricks” I did to lessen the blow of stress, which can ease out those tensions at work. One can actually sum it up in three words . . . BREATHE . . .JUST BREATHE!

The whole time this seemingly chaotic week at work was happening all I did was simply BREATHE. . .JUST BREATHE. I just took a few moments of silence and breathed slowly . . . breathing away all the tensions and stress that came my way during the week.

Breathing reminds us that what comes in, must come out. When we breathe, we take in air (most of the time polluted air!), but it gets purified and comes out in another form. In the same way, all these challenges and trials that come our way comes out eventually, and purified in the process, making us better individuals. We need air to survive in as much as we need these challenges to make us stronger and wiser!

Breathing also makes us pause for a few moments necessary to compose our thoughts and ourselves. It relaxes our tensed nerves and calms our anxious minds. Sometimes it just takes a few seconds of silence to calm ourselves, allowing us to think better and face the challenge head on. (More oxygen delivered to the brain makes us think better!) Remember your first job interview when you were quite nervous you couldn’t think straight? And what did mom say? Breathe . . .just breathe. And it worked, right? (It worked for me and still does!)

Breathing energizes us. As our body and brain need oxygen to function properly, we need to breathe to get oxygen flowing in our system. Like in yoga class, correct breathing techniques are essential while doing the different yoga poses for it to be effective!

Breathing also draws us to our inner self and the ultimate source of all things. It makes us more grounded, rooted in our core values that can either make or break us in times of crisis. I personally feel a strong connection with my source when I breathe and close my eyes, drowning out the noise around me. Somehow you just know, everything will be alright, and you feel it.

And remember, at the end of the day after all those stress and tensions at work, let go. Go home, and I mean it! Go home and leave your work at the office! Have time for yourself and your family or go out with friends. Take your mind off work and stop talking about it to your family and friends! Though at times it helps to talk about it, there are also times when you just have to stop thinking about it. Talk about other things than work, like recalling younger days that brings out your funny and lighter side.

Here are other suggestions to relax after a day’s work I chanced upon a forwarded email:

1) Use the last 15 minutes of the workday to do low-pressure tasks. Clean off your desk, return one or two calls to people you enjoy dealing with. More importantly, take the time to plan and write down tomorrow's tasks. Trying to remember them will just keep your mind preoccupied all night.

2) Make a point of noticing the scenery on your journey home. Smell the air (if you’re not in the Metro area!), notice the trees or the sky. It will help distance you from the workday, relax you and remind you of a larger perspective.

3) When you get home, don't immediately launch into a litany about how tough your day was. Ask your family to also hold off on their demands for a few minutes to a half an hour. Use this time to change clothes, take a shower or a walk, enjoy a cup of tea or a glass of wine.

4) Establish rituals. Simple things like family dinners have gotten lost in today's busy lifestyle. Try to create "touchstones" at home that make you all reconnect. This can be sitting down once a week to a meal together, spending an evening together watching a certain show on TV, etc.

Breathe and smile! As someone once said “Upon dying, no one ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time at work!’”

So chill out W3O gals and hang in there! See you next Wednesday!

CaRPe dIeM!!!

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