How to Manage Stress in a Busy Season - jennwhitmer.com

Jun 5, 2022

How to Manage Stress in a Busy Season

Nothing about the last two weeks has been our typical rhythm. Not. One. Thing.
Has it been this way for you?

I mean part of it is MIWTD (May is worse than December). So how did I cope?

Other parts are outside of May Madness. One son graduated and another had knee surgery. We had out-of-town parents and multi-day events. And still, proposals needed to go out and client meetings needed to happen. (Have a mentioned my awesome admin graduated and got a fabulous new job?)

So like you, I’m short-staffed with pressures at home, wondering how to make it all happen.

Two Things I Did to Manage

  1. I kept sleeping.
    Yep, I fought and arranged so I could get a healthy amount of sleep (I wasn’t sleeping in, but I wasn’t necking espresso either). Matthew Walker, a neuroscientist, says sleep is the Swiss Army knife of health. When I am tired, I make bad decisions, I’m less creative, and I definitely have poor emotional regulation! (Did I mention we had out-of-town parents and a kid leaving high school forever!?).
  2. I adjusted expectations.
    It’s just foolish to think we can live whole lives without adjusting parts of the puzzle along the way. I used to think that was weak. “I can do it all!” Now I realize this: that is being human. So I reduced the number of tasks, communicated with a couple clients, and adjusted my own expectations of what work was possible with a grown man who needs round-the-clock meds and supervision when he’s up on crutches.

Guess what happened? Most of the time was great. I felt present and joyful and accomplished most of the last two weeks.
And I still dropped a ball.
This one. My regularly Friday email. It was on my list, and it just didn’t happen.
And because of the Monday off, I’ve been confused all week on what day it is!

Have you ever watched a juggler change what they’re juggling? Like they pick up and put down items while continuing to fling the others about? You and I are the jugglers. Some items we juggle are glass; some are plastic. This email, it’s plastic. If it falls, no one is harmed. Sustainable work, healthy relationships, honoring a rite of passage, caring for an injured son — those are glass.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Why am I telling you all this?
As a leader, you have a whole life. And in that wholeness, sometimes we focus on one part. It’s deciding which is glass and which is plastic at any given time. Often that takes help. I leaned on some coaches and wise friends.

As a leader, you have a whole life. Learn to discern what is plastic and what is glass.

Jenn Whitmer

Who do you have in your life that can coach you toward feeling confident? Feeling like you can easily say no? Feeling like your life isn’t straining at the edges, but actually flourishing?

I’d love to talk with you. Click here to sign up for some time to hop on a call with me. No pressure or obligation. Just a chance to move away from feeling frazzled toward flourishing.

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