Today, we enjoy the full moon.
As you know, the full moon is a time of manifestation, when the seeds sown at the last new moon a few weeks ago have borne fruit.
But did you also know that astronomically, the full moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon are in complete opposition? Thus, it is a time of maximum tension.
The pace quickens, stress builds, and we find ourselves severely challenged.
Stress is on the rise and studies suggest that in the next few years it’s only going get worse. Yet, positive psychology suggests that the problem isn’t with stress itself, but how we choose to deal with it.
Indeed, some stress is actually good for us. Thus, the name of the game is to not to focus on eliminating stress from your life but to cultivate your resilience to it. It’s rather like weight-training at the gym. Over time, your muscles grow stronger and stronger allowing you to tolerate more and more weight.
The problem comes however, when you go overboard and keep weight training every day – all day. In order to avoid injuries, you need to give your body time for recovery.
The same goes for managing stress.
- Take a break – the 15-minute coffee break and the one- hour lunch break were invented for a reason. Take them. Also take an hour every day to do something you really love (and enjoy it completely without guilt) as well as taking a least one day off each week. This is actually more helpful to your overall health and well-being than squeezing in that two-week annual holiday.
- Re-frame how you think about stress – as noted above, some stress is actually good for us. It prepares us to cope better and more confidently in a whole range of situations. Instead of considering yourself the victim in a stressful situation, use it as a learning experience – for example, how to better prioritize your time.
- Discern what you can and cannot control and act accordingly – for example, you can’t control the weather so there’s little sense worrying about it. Instead, concentrate on a back-up plan so that if the weather turns foul, you have alternative travel plans or can work from home.
- Say no – such a small word, ‘no’, but we are so afraid of it because inevitable someone is disappointed and/or some opportunity has been cut off. Yet in order to survive, you cannot run 110% of the time 24/7 and so you need to find your zone of sustainable stress. This is a trial and error process and it’s different for everyone. Start by prioritizing what is most important to you and take on those responsibilities that further that most. Take on more and more until you feel it is getting to be too much. Watch for the early warning signals like overindulgence in food/drink as well back pain, headache, and sleeping problems. Beware, however, you don’t necessarily benefit from taking on less work. We’ve all experienced situations where something that should only take an hour manages to suck up your entire day.
- Avoid procrastination – contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be ‘inspired’ to perform a particular task and putting if off (and off and off) only creates more stress. Take the leap and just dig in,revising and reworking where necessary. Beware. This is not the same thing as jumping into a project without proper planning. As we all should know by now, that just costs everyone wasted time and money. Find and maintain the right balance.