Finding Your Calm on the busiest days

Do you ever get that rushing feeling of having 5 things you feel you need to do at the exact same moment? So you start on one, while fretting about another, and stop half-way to begin something else? Yeah, me too.

I remember days when I had to be in an office by 8:30 and would typically run before work. My mind was calm and wandering while I ran, but as soon as I walked in the door I saw the dishes that needed to go in the dishwasher, the mail that was left on the counter to go through later, the full trash bin, and the more immediate need to be in the shower.

I felt the stress building up in my chest and would sigh deeply, getting some dishes in the dishwasher before hopping in the shower, thinking of all the steps I had to get through to even get to work. Drying my hair, packing my stuff up, walking to the train, etc. In these moments, I somehow managed to pile unnecessary anxiety right on top; if I’m this frazzled now, how will I function if we have kids?!

It’s not fun when little, everyday stressors feel big enough to effect your mood. I eventually recognized that after 15 minutes or so, I wouldn’t feel that immediate stress, and I began to hang on to that fact. When I felt all the to-do’s rapidly piling up, I would think, “this will pass”.

I enjoy the blog Zen Habits, and while I don’t recall the exact post that spoke to me, the message was that I was in control of how I reacted to this feeling.

Stress and reaction

This stress I was feeling wasn’t due to big curveballs, it was everyday tasks that happened routinely, which meant I could figure out a technique that would work for me. Here is what has been working:

  • Taking a few deep breaths as soon as I feel stress creeping up.
  • Picking one thing to start with, and completing it before starting on another item.
  • Deciding what’s the most “bang for my buck” and doing it first.
  • Mantra; “one thing at a time”, and, “it will all get done”.
  • Clearing clutter for 10 minutes (clear surfaces, clear mind, can’t lose).
  • Recognizing this is a normal feeling, and isn’t signaling the end of the world.

Your goal isn’t to never stress about anything; stress is a healthy, natural feeling and actually has positive qualities. Your goal is to stop it from snowballing and negatively effecting your mood and energy. Try a few of the tactics mentioned above, and see what works best for you.

For times when your stress is above the typical day-to-day levels, it’s great to have a Stress Emergency Kit. Read more on how to build your own, here! As always, If you want guidance in uncovering the best way for you to handle stressful situations, I’d love to chat with you! My 4-week Kickstarter Health Coaching Program will help you live with less stress by uncovering stressors and implementing stress relieving techniques. Shoot me an email at today!


  1. As a person who works from home it is hard to ignore all the things lying about that are crying for my attention. Like teenagers without drivers licences 😉 But what you write really resonates with me. The more energy I spend feeling stressed and making sure everything is done, the more overwhelmed I tend to feel.

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