A very wise ice princess once said, “Let it go, let it go!” There are some things that we hold on to that steal our joy, that make us feel stressed and overwhelmed and not on our best game. And most of the time, worrying about these things does absolutely nothing to solve the problem.
Working in a field where others constantly need you, they are dependent on you for their health, their well being, sometimes their lives, can be a lot of pressure for one person. Good news though, there are ways you can, as Elsa once said, “let it go” and take the negative things off your plate to make room for more healthy and nurturing things.
First, identify the things that generate a negative or stressful emotion inside of you. What are the things that keep you up at night, that you dread seeing/doing/dealing with on a daily basis, that makes your stomach knot up? Write down these things so they are a visual reminder of the things that are weighing you down. This list can consist of tasks, places, even people. Identifying the things you know are affecting you negatively is the first step in getting rid of them,
Secondly, cut out the commitments that you have that aren’t absolutely necessary. Yes, volunteering to bake cupcakes for every class function that your child has was a nice thought, but if it taking time away from doing the things that you love, and just adding another stressor to your life, find someone else to do it, or help you at least. Or just bring in carrot sticks; those kids have enough sugar in their lives.
Ask for help. Knowing you are in over your head, have too much on your plate, or are just plain overwhelmed is nothing to be ashamed of. It takes strength to ask for help, and if you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it. If possible, let others take some of the tasks from you that are weighing you down emotionally. If someone else can make the phone calls, send the emails, lead the meetings, etc., let them. Chances are, there is someone in your professional circle who would love to help by taking on a small job or opportunity, knowing how much stress and time it would save you.
Pick your battles. Sometimes, it’s just not worth getting upset over. Whether it is a coworker who never replaces the paper towel rolls in the break room, or trying to please everyone when creating the schedule, sometimes you just have to pick the things that are worth worrying about, and let go of the things that aren’t. In this profession, we like to maintain control at every possible turn. Sometimes, relinquishing some of that control can be a breath of fresh air for everyone involved.
You are who you hang out with. Everyone’s mom has said this to them before. If you surround yourself with negative people, their energy and vibe will undoubtedly take a toll on your attitude. Identify people in your life who that are draining to be around, who you dread being stuck in an elevator with, or who spend more time complaining to you than helping, encouraging or supporting you. Then, be intentional about spending less time with them than you have been. Be direct, if necessary, about how their attitude affects yours, or be passive and hide every time you see them. Either way, avoid people who make it difficult to be happy.
You owe it to yourself to maintain a healthy, happy and positive you. Start to be aware of your surroundings and the situations you find yourself in on a daily basis. Knowing the key things that bring you down is the most important step in eliminating them from your life, and making way for bigger, better and healthier things. When you simply “Let it go,” you’ll find yourself in a happier place that allows you to do your job the best way that you can. And in the long run, everyone benefits :)