Stress Management: The Power of a Day

I learned a valuable lesson recently. A short while ago, my mentor coach made this powerful request of me. She asked me to book 24 hours to myself within the next 30 days and to email her when I had booked this day. During this day (which she referred to as "Karen Day") I was not to do any work of any kind. It was to be 24 hours for myself and whatever I felt like doing. If I felt like sleeping in, going for a walk, watching TV, or taking a hot bath, that was exactly what I would do. I also had to monitor my "I shoulds". You know the ones: "I should be working", "I should be marketing", "I should respond to my email and voice messages".

Why did she request I schedule a "Karen Day"? Because I was trying to give to too many people both professionally and personally and the result was I ended up catching a cold, which developed into a sinus infection.

So, I was to schedule this "Karen Day". When would I have time for this? The truth is it wasn't that there wasn't enough time. It was that I felt guilty about taking this time for myself when "I should" be doing something else.

As helping professionals, we are very good at giving our time and energy to others, but we are not so good about freely giving that time to ourselves. However, the lesson I learned is that the key to being able to give to others is to take time for ourselves to rejuvenate our energy.

I finally scheduled the day on day 27 of my 30-day deadline. It was an extraordinary day! I had gone into the day with the intention of keeping my commitment to myself and doing whatever I felt like doing. It worked because afterwards I found I felt more relaxed, clear-minded, energized, and joyful.

My request of you then is to schedule your "Me Day" within the next 30 days. Here are some tips to help you:

1. Put your "Me Day" into your schedule.

2. Keep your commitment

3. Set your intention on that day

4. Let go of your "I shoulds" for the day

And most importantly, have an extraordinary day!

I can already hear your objections: "I'm too busy for that", "I don't have time for that", "This is not a good time", and on and on. The fact is, there will never be a good time and there will never be a time that isn't busy. You make a choice to put yourself first for 24 hours. Consider hiring a life and career coach to help you incorporate self care into your busy day and balance into your life without compromising your time. Working with a coach can be the difference between burnout and happiness in your career.

Karen Cross is a life and career coach and founder of Pathfinder Solutions. She specializes in personal and career transitions, self-care, creating balance, and finding greater passion in work and life.

A FREE 30 minute consult and FREE copy of her "14 Simple Strategies You Need to Know to Revitalize Your Energy" special report is available to the first 10 people who email [email protected] with FREE Consult in the subject line. Experience the benefit of coaching first-hand and discover how it can help you achieve career happiness quickly and easily!

In The News:

Stress management during exams  The Tribune India
Managing Holiday Stress  Texas A&M University
Mental health stigma and seasonal depression affect students  Boise State University The Arbiter Online
Fears of Friday the 13th  Abccolumbia.com
Stress relief  Warwick Beacon
Mind Over Matter Bhutan  Kuensel, Buhutan's National Newspaper
Washington People: James DuBois  Washington University Record
Building Resilience in Volunteer Firefighters  Vancouver Island University News

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