Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter!
We’re only a week into the new year and I’ll bet you’re already feeling stressed out. I’m no mind reader, but I do speak with many people each and every month, and I’ve gathered a few insights. One insight is that everyone seems to be stressed out about something or about many things. And I’ve come to a few conclusions about how to de-stress that I’m sharing with you this month. When I think about what I’m about to share with you, I’m feeling like this might be the most important newsletter I write all year!
If you know me at all, you know I’m a practical, tactical, organized woman who is very thoughtful about personal efficiency and effectiveness. And I’m a huge believer in what my teacher and mentor, Dr. Eric Cobb, always says, “Our environment and systems are much more important than willpower.” Too often we use willpower to overcome stress. But there is a better approach. I’m going to share some adjustments that if you’re willing to make, will bolster you psychologically, leaving you more prepared, secure, and ready for anything. And you’ll find yourself much less stressed, for sure. How’s that for a promise?
1. Get your tech world under control. You may think this is a strange one to start with but let’s just admit it; tech has got us so discombobulated, it’s crazy. Turn off your notifications and decide what’s really important. Delete apps you don’t use. Don’t keep all your tech gear in view all day long. Whether or not you realize it, you’re distracted by it. Liberally unsubscribe from emails you don’t want to receive. Empty your inbox by deleting, filing or answering emails.
Back up your photos and contact list. Use both an external drive and cloud-based backup for this. Use a VPN. And a Password Manager. If you don’t know what either of these are, email me and let me know. I’ll tell you more about which services I use.
Here’s the biggie; UNFOLLOW on social media. Declutter in all these ways and you’ll be amazed at how much less stress you feel each and every day.
2. Get your physical world under control. Notice how you feel, how you’re treating your body, and how your body is treating you. How is your mind functioning these days? Is there anything you need to adjust to improve these conditions? Establish goals and get working on them. Establish habits and stick to them. The key here is to use what you know about yourself and what motivates you so that you make progress in your goals and habits.
Take note of what makes you feel good, feel alive, feel awake and happy. Write down this personal wisdom and remember it. Use this to create optimal conditions for your well-being.
3. Decide to fill in your knowledge and skill gaps. Do you need to learn more about cooking, investing, or health and fitness? It seems that most people have something that if they learned about it and filled in their knowledge or skill gaps, would create a massive improvement in their lifestyle. Maybe your skill/knowledge gap once learned would save you money or provide a greater sense of security or capability. I find it’s worth the time and resources invested because the payoff is that great, and you become a more capable and well-rounded person.
4. Decide to handle the millions of little things that generally go unhandled. Small changes can have huge impact on your day-to-day happiness. I know someone who has a leaky faucet that drives them nuts at night when they’re trying to sleep. It drives me nuts hearing about it because all I can think about when they complain is how they should just get it fixed. Maybe you have phone calls you need to make that you’ve put off. Maybe you need to replace your aging computer like I did a few years ago. I wrote about my experience and how amazing it was to have such a burst of energy and creativity because of my updated capabilities. Maybe you need to take those bags of stuff that are in your garage to Goodwill.
I have no idea what YOUR unhandled things are, but I can guarantee you have them. We all do. They get put off because they don’t seem important. Handling them, however, does remove a mental or physical burden that often we don’t even recognize we have. Sometimes the action we need to take may seem tiny, yet the benefit is great. Make a habit of handling things when you notice them. This way they don’t become serious issues. I’ve learned to handle things as they come up and it always makes me feel lighter and freer knowing I take care of things as needed.
You might be wondering how all of this relates to Joyinmovement. We owe it to ourselves to view how we’re managing our lives. I think these four areas of life, when left unaddressed, create an enormous amount of stress and are huge detractors from leading the healthiest and most enjoyable life possible. After all, you can’t optimally feel Joyinmovement if you’re feeling stressed!
I hope some or all of these ideas resonate with you and nudge you to take action!
Until next month,