Gimmee a break….gimmee a break!

“STOP ASKING ME FOR THINGS!” I yelled and threw my zenvelope across the room.

Zenvelope is a felted pouch to put your phone in so you can ignore the pings and zings while you’re concentrating on something, or just being present in the room rather than looking at your phone. I use it in my office when I’m trying to focus on things that I dislike doing and often procrastinate by grabbing my phone and checking Facebook….again. 

(which I literally just did as I was looking for the Zenvelope link.  DOH!) 

Anyway, I wasn’t having a very Zen day and the poor Zenvelope took the heat.  I was trying to cram a week’s worth of work into 3 days so I could take Thursday and Friday off to host a friend who was coming in from out of town to stay with me.  I didn’t have an unreasonable amount of work to do, but my shoulders were up around my ears, my breathing was shallow, I was rushing through stuff, and when someone texted asking me for one more thing, I lost it….and the Zenvelope flew!  (fortunately I was alone in my home office at the time!)

I stopped.  Temper tantrums are NOT standard in my day/week/month, so this was a clear alert that I was way more stressed than I needed to be.  I needed to let off some steam, so I could get back to focused and effective productivity, rather than this ulcer inducing madness/garbage rushed work combo I was currently tangled up in.

“I don’t have time to take a break!”

“You don’t have time NOT to take a break!”  I was doing crap work, and I didn’t want my clients to think this was my norm.  “GO TAKE A BREAK!” 

I did it.  It hurt.  It felt all wrong…but I stomped into my bedroom, changed into running gear, ran around the neighborhood once with VERY loud (and honey badger angry) music playing, grunting and growling the whole way.

12 minutes later, I got out of the shower, sat back down and plowed through my to-do list completing by 5pm with time to relax a little, grab a few more snacks (because a good host always has good snacks!) and made a leisurely drive to the airport to get my friend. 

If I hadn’t stopped and let off the steam, I would have been stressed all day, and rushed and frazzled when my friend arrived, and probably would still have some things to do while she was here! Not fun!

Next time you get one of those body alerts that the pressure in there is a little too high, TAKE A BREAK!  Even if it’s just…

  • Play 4 minutes and 40 seconds of death metal in your car and scream along
  • Taking 10 quiet breaths in a bathroom stall (because sometimes that’s the only place you can get some peace and quiet for crying out loud!)
  • Play ball with your dog
  • Punch a couch cushion…953 times.
  • Pound out a mile or two like I did.

Whatever HEALTHY and INTENTIONAL way that allows you to blow off that steam so you can calmly focus and get things done without blowing up at the Amazon delivery guy (who keeps delivering to the wrong address EVEN THOUGH YOU PUT THE INSTRUCTIONS CLEARLY ON THE WEBSITELIKETHEYASKEDYOUTO!) or end the day completely exhausted and unable to enjoy the new live episode of Dancing with the Stars (Go Xochitl Gomez!!).  Do it!!

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