good mojo, please.

I had another doozy of a day today. Work felt so overwhelming that by lunch time I was ready to cry. But then slowly, things turned around. I got a surprise visit from my sister who brought me a diet coke and a ginger cookie. We laughed so loudly I finally had to kick her out so that I could hold it together enough to finish out my work day. After work I went to the gym. I wasn't feeling my normal 5:30pm spinning class so I walked on the treadmill with the latest issue of InStyle magazine. All the while I got to thinking: "I feel fine. I feel good actually. Let's keep this up!"

Here's how I plan on keeping the good mojo flowin':

1. Focus on the micro, not the macro. This may seem counter intuitive when having a meltdown over an Excel spreadsheet of event attendees or when ridiculously overwhelmed by a three page to-do list. But I tend to be a worrier (M would feign surprise right now) and whenever I'm feeling anxious about one thing my thought process usually goes like this: "Oh my gosh, I can NOT get this printer to work. I'll probably end up having to work in an office for the rest of my life. I want to go freelance but then I won't have money for my kid's college. Man, I really should start investing in a Roth IRA.... ugh, I think I'm getting sick. That bump on my shin is probably NOT from running into the coffee table last night. With my luck, it's probably cancerous. I wonder if I should make a doctor's appointment..." Well, you get the idea! By focusing on the micro, my ONE task, I can be more productive than were I to continue down that rabbit hole of anxiety. By focusing on the micro, the way I feel RIGHT now, instead of worrying about my 10 year career goals I can ensure that I keep feeling well enough to eventually accomplish those goals.

2. Think like you're in college. I must preface this by saying that I was definitely not the life of the party in college. In fact, I didn't drink at all. But when I was in college, I remember feeling like the world really was my oyster. I invested time in researching Latina/o studies and planning events to raise awareness about Violence Against Women. I was bold and motivated and passionate. And it didn't seem like anyone or anything wanted to stop me. So often when we get to the "real world" we forget what it's like to explore our options and believe that anything is possible.

3. On that note, Live like you're in college. In college I took social risks, attended lectures on a myriad of topics, danced salsa at the Canopy Club and took kickboxing classes at the gym, all because I could. While working full time post college, it's easy to overlook hobbies and forgo leisure for all of the "shoulds." That's a dangerous route though, because how else will we determine our life's direction if we don't nurture our life's passions?

4. Embrace your inner single lady. Now that I have a live-in bf I don't have a ton of alone time. Since M is in class on Monday nights and working late Wednesdays, I dedicate one or both of those nights to living it up, single girl style. I eat popcorn or cereal for dinner, watch trashy tv shows, paint my nails over and over again until I decide on a color and sit around with my hair a mess and my face makeup free. It's not that I couldn't do those things around M; in fact, I have. It's just that there's something so luxurious about really letting my hair down on my nights alone.

5. Talk it out, work it out. The first things that usually go when I'm stressed are social time and working out. Well no wonder I'm so stressed out! I went out with one of my best friends last night and came home feeling a million times better. I cooked dinner and nuggsed with M while reading a good book. All was well. The same goes for working out. Afterwards I have this feeling of accomplishment that is totally different from the feeling I get after crossing items off a to-do list at work. I plan on penciling in workouts and social time at the beginning of the week so that they don't get lost under a pile of to-do's.

6. Treat yourself like a free agent. I have a confession. I don't DO regular employment. I have an awfully hard time having a boss (even one as amazing as my boss now) and I struggle daily at sitting at a desk all day when there's so much happening on the outside. And while I appreciate the perks of steady employment: hello consistent paychecks, benefits galore and scheduled raises, a part of me knows deep down it's all temporary. In order to keep my chin up while "working for the man" I treat myself like a free agent. I imagine my work to be contract and the money I receive as fair compensation for the employment of my small business (myself!). By looking at it that way, I'm no longer paid for hours spent at a desk, but compensated for a specific job, or event. I also tell myself daily that this job is enabling me to pay off my car loan and save money for the day when I'm finally ready to open Laura Jean Kathleen Enterprises (in M's words!).

Here's hoping that these little strategies will help me feel better while at work. It can't hurt to try!


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