“You can only untie one knot at a time.”

“You can only untie one knot at a time.”

https://kabbalahwisdom.org

Image from Unsplash by Joshua Hoehne

Each morning I lace up my New Balance sneakers to take my 45-minute walk. Since the beginning of the pandemic, walking has become my go-to form of exercise, and a key for me to reduce stress and maintain my sanity.

The act of tying my shoes to the proper tightness occurs habitually. Moments later I’m off into the great outdoors with arms and legs in unison. Taking in the sights and sounds, practicing gratitude and greeting my fellow walkers are bonuses.

When I untie my shoes upon my return, it is pretty common to experience a knot in one or both laces. Although I experience some frustration due to the delay, I am also thankful for my opposable thumbs and the level of dexterity needed to release the knots.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently experiencing a few knotty areas in your life?

How can you more patiently untie them, one at a time, as you navigate your day?

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

—Pablo Picasso, 20th Century Spanish painter & sculptor

Image from Unsplash by Anna Kolosyuk

The world is in great pain and could use some healing. Hardly a day goes by without many examples of suffering and stress.

My coaching conversations almost always include personal issues as well as professional priorities. Among the many strategies to calm down and cope with the stressors, a good number of individuals are seeking and engaging in artful expression, to wash away the dust in their souls. Cooking and baking work nicely in the Demp household!

EXERCISE:

Please reply to this post with the artful strategies you use to brighten your days.

Consider discussing this topic with friends, family, and others to help realize a more beautiful and soulful life.

“When demand exceeds capacity we experience stress.”

“When demand exceeds capacity we experience stress.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unslash by Christian Erfurt

Where are you currently experiencing stress and observing it in others in your personal and professional communities?

Take a very close look at the demands placed on the individuals and the systems where stress is easily or not so easily seen. Take another look at the capacity and the resilience of the people and processes attempting to meet these demands and challenges. To what degree are they holding up, or not?

Although there is a type of stress called eustress that can be productive and support growth, when things go too far it can easily create the distress many of us are experiencing.

EXERCISE:

What actions can you take today to reduce demands or increase capacities to lower the levels of stress in your world?

Please reply to this post to describe your efforts and how things progress.

Friday Review: Stress

FRIDAY REVIEW: STRESS

What strategies and techniques do you employ to reduce stress? Here are three stress-related posts you may have missed.

 

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.”

 

 

 

“Worries and tensions are like birds. We cannot stop them from flying near us, but we can certainly stop them from making a nest in our minds.”

 

 

 

 

“When I go to bed, I leave my trouble in my clothes.”

 

 

 

 

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.”

—Sir John Lubbock, 19th Century British politician

Image from Unsplash by William Hook

Imagine you are a cell phone.

You begin your day with a full charge, and prepare to productively navigate your day. All of a sudden, a Worry App is opened on a family matter. Then two more open on your way to work. After your first cup of coffee, a couple more Apps open, due to an email and a text you’ve received.

Following a day of such events, your reserves of power are low or completely exhausted.

You’re in need of a recharge.

Unless you can limit or eliminate the open Worry Apps, you may find yourself headed to bed mentally and emotionally exhausted, sometimes unable to turn them off so you can rest.

EXERCISE:

How can you more efficiently and effectively allocate your physical, mental, and emotional energies throughout the day?

How would greater awareness of your worries limit or prevent you from experiencing these draining factors?

“How can you have a much lighter approach to life?”

“How can you have a much lighter approach to life?”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Christian Erfurt

Who are the people in your professional or personal worlds that seem to carry a very heavy load throughout their days?

How burdened do you feel given your own backpack of commitments, priorities, and responsibilities?

What are the costs to your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being?

When eustress—the positive and productive form of stress—exceeds its limits, it cascades over the threshold into distress, which can significantly impact our immune systems and can even lead to disease.

EXERCISE:

Take 5 to 10 minutes to lift your foot off the gas pedal of life and do a Google search on “Stress Management” or “Self-Care Strategies” to help you lighten your approach to life.

Feel free to reply to this post with the strategies or approaches you commit to taking.

“The world is loud and crowded.”

“The world is loud and crowded.”

—Author Unknown

Image from Unsplash by Teun Swagerman

Recently, I watched a Netflix program called “The Worlds Busiest Cities.” I was amazed by what it is like to live and work in these loud and crowded hubs of humanity.

Given the seemingly relentless pace and overall stresses experienced by many, I found myself saying that I could never live in places such as these.

I’ve often shared the adage, “I spent a week in New York one day” to describe my experience of one of the busiest cities in the United States.

Although many of us live in much smaller communities, our lives are considerably louder and more crowded than in the past, due to smart phones, social media, and our 24/7 society that seemingly never stops.

EXERCISE:

What sanity-enhancing strategies can you bring into your world to provide more wiggle room and lower the volume of life?

“Ask yourself: Does the job touch my heart and feed my soul?”

“Ask yourself: Does the job touch my heart and feed my soul? You will never be what you were meant to be if you aren’t having fun.”

—Suzy Welch, American Author, television commentator, and business journalist

Image from Unsplash by Atlas Green

If you light up on Friday and dread Monday, today’s quote is meant for you. Take heart in that 65-75% of the working world is in the same boat.

For dramatic purposes, that form of regret or stress can represent about 25 years of life, if you include a bit of traffic on your daily commute.

To what degree is this way too high a price to pay?

Beyond family and friends, how we spend our days and who we spend them with makes up far too much of our lives to have it not touch our hearts and feed our souls.

EXERCISE:

What significant, courageous, and of course, fun changes can and will you take to more fully realize that time is the coin of life?

Well Arranged Time

“Well arranged time is the surest mark of a well arranged mind.”

—Sir Isaac Pitman, developer of the Pitman method of Shorthand

Image of a silver pocket watch

Image from Unsplash by Isabella Christina

Time management is almost always one of the top goals of my coaching clients.

They describe their desires with wording such as:

  • Life Balance
  • Stress Reduction
  • Personal Freedom
  • Independence and Autonomy
  • Peace of Mind
  • Spending time and energy on what’s most important
  • Work less and make more

All too frequently the tyranny of the urgent, or the pervasiveness of digital distractions, leaves us stressed and exhausted, with less than stellar results and satisfaction.

EXERCISE:

How can you more fully plan your days and work your plans to realize the life you sincerely desire?

Consider downloading a copy of my Time Management Strategies and Tactics Workbook, to help rearrange your mind and time. Please use the password BarryDemp if prompted to do so.

Shovel While the Piles are Small

“Shovel while the piles are small.”

—Eric Allenbaugh, Leadership Consultant

Image of cars buried in snow

Image from The Star.com

Today’s quote reminded me of the last substantial snow storm here in Michigan. It was over a weekend, and my plan was simply to wait until it stopped (which it didn’t) to handle the 10-12 inches of wet, heavy stuff at one time. I thought that would be efficient.

Unfortunately, my snow blower didn’t take well to the blade-clogging mixture of snow and ice and refused to cooperate. The result was considerable heavy lifting to clear my driveway. I didn’t need to go to the gym for my regular workout after that!

EXERCISE:

What personal or professional priorities are piling up on you and creating stress?

Where would tackling these piles while they are small be the best approach to lightening your load?