To all of the busy women, here are some strategies that can help you be productive and calm.
Does this sound familiar to you? Personally, as a busy person (have a young daughter, maintaining relationships, keeping the house tidy, running my own mental health private practice, blogging (for two websites), and preparing for ultramarathons), I struggle with being calm while I go about my day.
Here’s how it usually goes.
I’m usually productive in some way because there is always something that needs done. I tend to feel like things need to be done in an overly particular way. Tasks get done, it’s just not always how well (quality) or in the order that I’d like it to be, so I need to be flexible.
When there’s anxiety present.
Anxiety couples this feeling that something needs to be a certain way or lack of having an amount of control. Anxiety is also provoked when I feel overwhelmed by the amount of things that I need to do. It’s difficult being calm. I want things to be completed in a timely manner and done right. Sometimes, I aim for perfection, but I know that that’s unrealistic. I put a lot of pressure on myself.
How do I remain calm while I’m in a state of being busy and usually anxious?
• I practice time management • Prioritize tasks • Ask others for help • Tell someone “no” when they ask if I can do something when I truly don’t have the time • Mindfulness • Slow myself down, so I can think clearly • Stay grounded • Self-care. Sometimes taking a full day for it! • Exercise or run • I focus on my strengths and goals (and the reasons behind them) • I think positive (in general) • I reframe my distorted thinking • I write down affirmations
There are probably some other tricks that I use that aren’t coming to mind. Whatever I do, I choose to act in a more helpful and healthy manner. I choose to react in a way that is more calm.
How do I know which strategy will help?
I don’t 100% of the time know which strategy will help, but I do know that I can try two or three and see if they work. Overtime, it is easier to know which strategies will work and for what. If a strategy doesn’t help, no big deal, pick another. There are instances where anxiety is stronger and it takes a handful of strategies to help. Also, no big deal.
The strategies from this list are additional “to do’s”, but they makes life better and adds peace. This work becomes more effortless the more that I practice it. You can do this, too.
How to deal with negative thoughts through cognitive reframing.
The first set of sentences are examples of “all-or-nothing” and “black-and-white” negative thoughts. The second set is the reframing.
▪︎”I HAVE to have ___, ___, and ___ happen today, otherwise the day is ruined.” ▪︎”If I don’t get this job, everything that I’ve worked so hard for goes right out the window!” ▪︎”My life depends on ___.”
▪︎”I can choose to not allow my day to be ruined. Instead, I can remain hopeful and hold my head high because this isn’t the end, it’s a bump in the road. I can move on knowing that I did the best that I can.” ▪︎”I may or may not get the job that I’ve been working hard towards, but there will be other opportunities and new doors will open. I did learn more from this experience.” ▪︎”What I’m going through is temporary and in time, things change.”
Have you ever wondered the difference between an Emotional Support Animal, Therapy Dog or Service Dog? This article is a brief overview, of the different companions.
Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
The animal provides therapeutic benefits to the owner at home through companionship.
Steps to getting an ESA:
Determine if an ESA is right for you. Ask yourself what are the possible benefits. Understand the work that is involved with owning an animal.
Find a licensed professional mental health therapist who is knowledgeable about ESAs. They will walk you through mental health assessments and other parts of the process. The therapist can write a legitimate letter for you to use and identify your animal as an ESA.
Adopt an animal. Do your research and choose an animal carefully. An animal can come from a rescue, shelter or trusted breeder. Common ESAs: dogs; cats; reptiles; rodents; birds (even chickens!). If you already have a pet that you would like to be your ESA, that’s great! Just be sure that your pet suits your needs.
Train your ESA to behave properly. Only basic animal training is needed, there are no special requirements. You are responsible for your animal’s behavior and if the animal damages property, being responsible paying for the damage.
Use your ESA letter properly.
Enjoy your emotional support companion!
The most common type of therapy animal is a dog, but other animals, like cats and horses can also be supportive.
Used in facilities, such as hospitals and retirement homes to provide affection and comfort.
Not all dog breeds fit being a therapy dog. The dog must be calm, affectionate and friendly to strangers at all times.
Therapy dogs don’t have to be trained for specific tasks like service dogs.
The dog needs to complete obedience training and register to become a certified therapy dog.
Trained to help people with visual impairment, diabetes, mental illnesses, and other disabilities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and local government gives the option to people with disabilities to have a service dog, and (the ADA) punctuates that the dog is a working animal.
Must be well-trained to complete specific tasks related to the needs of the person with the disability. The dog must be fit to complete jobs that you cannot complete yourself.
Document all of the dog’s training and certificate.