Choosing Peace Over Stress

Danielle McCarthy:  Today I’m jumping on and doing a video prompted by a quote our lovely receptionist, Tracey, shared with me. The quote is:

“Stress is a choice, so is peace.’’

The reason I like this quote is because it really resonates with me this week. Over the last 5 weeks, I have had non-stop sickness going through my house. My daughter has had 5 different sicknesses over the last 5 weeks. At the end of last week, I thought ‘Yes! We’re finally over it, things will get back to normal again.” And then that night my son got sick. I was ready to tear my hair out! I came into this week with the best intentions, organized with a plan of action for the week, and it all got thrown out the window. My son getting sick has meant I have not been able to get nearly anything done. Because of this I could have easily become very stressed. I’m not saying that I didn’t have moments of stress because that’s not true, I did. However, predominantly I feel like this week I did actually choose peace over being stressed. I noticed my stress levels rising and I did decide that I wasn’t going to let it get the better of me. When I heard the quote above it got me thinking about what I did to keep my stress levels at bay throughout the week and I realised that it came down to 3 things.

The first thing I noticed I did this week was I reframed. Instead of getting caught up with thoughts about all the things that I wasn’t going to get done, and how much this sucked, I reframed and said, “Oh hang on. Yes, I won’t get those things done but I do get to spend this amazing quality time with my children and how awesome is that?” I chose to get caught up in playing, baking with them, laughing, and reading books.

I reframed from seeing it as a negative to seeing that it was actually not that bad at all.

The next thing I did was address catastrophising. I noticed that initially I was having thoughts like, “Oh my gosh I’m not going to get anything done. This is terrible, awful, horrible.” When I actually had a look at my to-do list I asked myself “Is it going to be the end of the world if none of these things get done this week?” In short the answer was no. It wasn’t going to be the end of the world and it actually could wait for next week. I was catastrophising and I realized that they were just automatic thoughts that weren’t true.

The third and final thing I noticed I did was to choose wisely what I did during the brief moments of kid-free time that I had. I would think to myself, “Okay, I’ve got maybe an hour, possibly two, what do I need to do? What do I want do?” Each day it was different. Somedays it might have been to put on a load of washing. On another day, it might have been to check emails. And on some of the days my body was screaming that it was exhausted and I just wanted to lie down on the couch and sip a cup of tea.

So during these moments instead of rushing straight for the computer in an attempt to quickly check emails and work I would check in with myself and listen to what my body was telling me.

I hope you find these tips useful and that you might able to put one or more of them into place the next time you notice your plans get thrown out the window and those stress levels rise.