In last week’s Friday Five, we asked readers to share their favorite antidotes to stress and anxiety. Many did just that, and we’ve become extremely mellow here at Attorney at Work, sampling those wonderful ideas! This week, we share our five favorites, in no particular order. Sarah Kent, however, submitted our most favorite. So Sarah, watch your mailbox for an official Attorney at Work T-shirt. Everyone else, try these good ideas!
From our winner, Sarah Kent: I use a tactic adopted from Sheenah Hankin’s “Winning Hand” method. I literally look at my hand—each finger contributes to my stress, but holds the key to removing it. If I’m afraid, I determine what my body’s telling me to protect. If I’m angry, I try to figure out which of my needs are in jeopardy. If I’m ashamed, I adjust my priorities and how I’m measuring my self-worth. If I feel guilty, I try to determine how I might be hurting someone else. If I’m feeling sorry for myself, I figure out where I’m stuck and who I need to get help from.
From Steve Parmelee: Play a musical instrument 15 minutes per day. If you don’t know how, learn. If you know how, push yourself a bit (learn a new tune, a new technique or even a new instrument). I keep a guitar in my office! This brief but powerful oasis of concentration that involves both physical and mental refocusing is immensely refreshing.
From Beverly Loder: Spend an hour or two playing with a small child—your own, a grandchild, niece or nephew, neighbor or friend’s child—preferably age 5 or younger. Get down on the floor or out on the lawn with them and allow them to pull you into their world. Play with little cars, build a house with wooden blocks, draw with crayons or chalk, read their favorite books, play catch with a big ball or make up a game—simple activities, no batteries required. Let the child set the pace. Soon you’ll feel the stress melt away as you forget your worries for a while and remember the carefree joys of a child’s world. I guarantee you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed afterward, and the child will have benefited from your undivided attention, too!
From Clark A. D. Wilson: Sitting in traffic makes my blood boil. So, I avoid morning traffic by working remotely until 10 a.m. and then driving into the office. The commute is a breeze, and when I arrive I’ve already taken care of the busy work so my concentration is primed.
From Clodagh Boyle: Power-meditation! Spend two minutes sitting or lying on the floor. Turn your phone to voicemail. (And close your office door!) Breathe deeply. Works wonders.