The Art Of Showing Up To Work On Stressful Days
Let's face it not all work weeks are the same. Some are kinder to us, while others leave us questioning whether we'll live to see happy hour on Friday. For the weeks that threaten to leave us feeling depleted, being able to consciously slow things down in the morning I've found makes a world of a difference. Having a morning ritual for stressful days that consciously prepares me emotionally, spiritually and psychologically is the perfect way to set the tone for how the rest of the day will go. Here's what mine looks like:
1. After my alarm goes off, I reluctantly wake up knowing what a crazy day I'm going to have to brave. Lighting a scented candle on my bedside stand and saying a prayer for Jesus to take the wheel usually calms me down. I find that on such days, its important for me to wake-up gradually and calm my anxiety about having to adult on that day.
2. Do an emotional check-in with self and a guided gratitude meditation for about 8min using Youper, which is an app that acts as my emotional health assistant. Being stressed out by deadlines or meetings has a way of making us all forget to take the time to reflect on what is in fact going right in our lives. I also believe in being aware of my state of mind and heart at any given time has been key in managing stressful times and building grit. It’s been a year since I started logging my emotional state through the Youper app which has on countless occasions reminded me to be kinder to myself. My daily check-in notes on Youper have also come in handy if I have a therapy session scheduled during that particular week as it makes it easier for me to articulate how I've been feeling to my therapist.
3. Run a bath and play a TD Jakes sermon on YouTube. Dealing with anxiety through the word is an experience that is grounding for me, because we know that “Faith comes by hearing the word of God.” My bath is usually timed to about 20mins.
4. While getting dressed and doing my make-up and hair, I usually switch from a sermon to playing my "Boss Playlist", which basically has anthems about how girls run the world from Beyonce to Cardi B. If I'm about to have one of those long dreadful days that might be a bit more testing, then I usually throw in anything by DJ Khaled into the playlist. This lets me declare out loud, "WE THE BEST!!" a couple of times, and yes it might sound lame, but trust me, words have power. You should try it.
Alas, the T's and C's of all of this working rests on whether I manage to get a good 8 hours of sleep in. Otherwise, I'm reduced to the unreliable strategy of rolling with the punches, which never ends well.
I'd love to hear what some of your stressful day rituals are in the comments.