The Carousel asked author and all round wonderful human being, Turia Pitt, to help us embrace gratitude on a deeper level. Here is her advice to us all.
I got an email from Lisa a few weeks ago.
She was pretty stressed out.
You don’t know Lisa (I mean, I can’t be sure of that, I’m just assuming you don’t), but I bet you can relate to her predicament.
She has a massive project going on at work, her sister is getting married next week (and her family are staying at her house in the lead up). And then, a week later, her husband’s family are arriving for the Christmas holidays. All twelve of them.
So, yeah, she’s feeling a bit stressed.
And she wanted to know what advice I had for dealing with it all.
Now, if you know me, you’ll know that I like to be organised.
I like to plan ahead. I like to map out a project and break it down into little baby steps, right from the get go. Anticipating the problems and barriers, and coming up with solutions for them before I even begin. It’s how I beat that smashing-my-seventh-coffee-while-crying-in-the-corner kind of stress that hits at the end of the year.
Because when you’ve got a plan, and you know what baby steps to take, everything is easier.
And, here’s the good news that I shared with Lisa:
You can take the same approach with stress.
I use this handy tool called …….. a stress log!
Not log as in “cosy log cabin”, log as in “stress management recording tool”.
Not as cute sounding, sure, but effective nonetheless!
Here’s how it works:
- Write down everything that’s stressing you out right now.
Good news! It’s gonna feel super cathartic doing this. And it’s gonna help make your stress more manageable. Because the moment you get clear about is actually stressing you out, you get a nice little list of problems you can solve.
- Rate each problem from 1 -10.
1 being “lost your pen lid”, 10 being “shark speeding towards you with jaws open”.
- Now, find a solution for each problem.
So, if one of Lisa’s problems was not knowing how to organise groceries for Christmas lunch while she’s flat out at work, she’s got options.
She could :
- Delegate it to someone else in the family, outsource it or hire a service to do it (hello online orders!)
- Ask her boss if she could leave early one day to get it done
- Book lunch out at a restaurant instead
- Make Christmas a potluck type of deal – everyone brings a dish!
- Quit! Push Christmas to someone else’s house!
Now, this next part is important.
If you can’t outsource, delegate, quit or reschedule the task, and you can’t find any other creative solution to getting it done, ask yourself this question:
What can I change about my attitude or approach to this problem?
In other words: If you have to do this task, what’s good about doing it?
In Lisa’s case, is hosting Christmas this year an opportunity to try some new recipes? Or to get to know her husband’s family better?
The bottom line is, there are always gonna be things in life that we find stressful. That’s inevitable.
But if we can’t find a way to mitigate the stress, we can look for ways to change the way we see it.
Over to you my friend.
Good luck! And happy holidays,
You can click the link here to find out more.