Relaxation is something women need much more of in their lives. Unfortunately, there isn’t always enough time in the day to relax. In fact, some of us work so hard we don’t even know we aren’t relaxing. Case in point: My husband was home from work on a weekday a few weeks ago. I had deadlines that day so my day was pretty much the same; I worked, we played with our small daughters, we ran some errands and we kept the house clean. That night after we put our kids to bed I told my husband how nice it is when he’s home from work during the week. It’s like a relaxing treat in the middle of the week. He looked at me like I’d grown a second head and asked me when exactly I’d relaxed, considering I’d been up with him since 6 am and was sitting down on the couch for the first time all day long at 8:30 pm.
That shocked me into silence for a moment as I realized that my day was just like every other day of the week, with the exception that I got to hang out with my husband and I got a little more work done than usual since he was home to handle diapers, potty trips, and food requests. Working from home is more difficult than working at an office, where my kids are elsewhere and I have no distractions. That said, work is a hectic place that can make you crazy. Here are a few ways you can remain zen in the office.
Close your office door and ask your assistant to hold all visitors and calls for five minutes. During this time, take a deep breath and tackle a few of your favorite yoga moves. You will be surprised how relaxed you’ll feel after a few minutes of yoga.
Take a Deep Breath
Spend a few minutes every hour taking deep breaths. You’ll calm down, clear your mind, and relax. Do this randomly or after a particularly stressful call or meeting to find your zen place.
Change Your View
Get out of your office for a little while. A change of scenery will help you feel more relaxed and more productive. Since I gave up the home office thing a long time ago (with an almost four-year-old and a 14-month-old I need to be able to work where the action is – the nursery, the playroom, the kitchen floor…) I work from the dining room table or anywhere else I can see my kids playing. When I start to feel overwhelmed I wait for my littlest one to take a nap, grab my laptop, the baby monitor and my oldest and we head outside. She drives her power wheel Escalade around the yard or plays on her playground while I work on the back porch.
Have Something to Look Forward To
Is there a specific part of the day that just drags for you? Mine is after my kids eat lunch and before my youngest takes her afternoon nap. Those two hours are long and endless to me because it’s either 96 degrees with 100 percent humidity or pouring rain outside. Too hot or too wet to do anything fun in the great outdoors. I know everyday how I dread that time because I’m full from lunch, my coffee is wearing off and my kids are going stir crazy. I made the decision to find a reason to look forward to this time.
Now I make a plan. Today we’ll set up the bubble machine in the garage and run through it like three crazy people popping hundreds of bubbles at a time. Tomorrow we’ll set up a drive-thru in the living room and my kids will make their orders while I take their money and give them their food. Bonus: They learn how to count and what money really means at the same time. Sometimes you just need something to look forward to, to relax and calm you, even if it means a quick walk to have an afternoon latte or frap.