You know those super jam-packed days that leave you feeling stressed out and scattered?  Even if it’s not particularly stressful, but you have a never ending “to do” list and feel like there just isn’t enough time to get it all done.

Love those days, right?

It wears us out and compromises our ability to focus.

Do you ever get that feeling mid-day where you just feel like you are racing around and want to stop but you just can’t?

I had one of those yesterday.  It was a good day, I just had several meetings and client sessions back to back which made me feel rushed.  I started to feel like I didn’t have enough time to get it all done which made me feel scattered.

Sometimes we don’t have enough time to get it all done, and that’s okay, there is always tomorrow.

More often than not, I think we get in our heads, which leads to stress, which then ultimately lowers our productivity.  That’s when we feel overwhelmed and lose our focus (like I did yesterday).

We lose focus because we get into our heads rather than focus on the present moment.

I recently made a deal with myself.  When I have that feeling, I will “reset” by stopping and doing something restorative.  Something to bring me back into the present and back into my body rather than in my head.

It’s HARD to do this when you have that rushed/overwhelmed feeling.  Stopping feels counter intuitive, but it works, I promise.

I usually stop myself and have “still time” or do a guided meditation and it gets me right back on track.

Yesterday I had a lot of energy and I knew that being still or meditation wasn’t going to work…I felt like it would stress me out more.  I needed to move! So, I did this quick activity instead

I went for a walk.

Seems simple right. It’s more about what I did during the walk that is most important.

When you go on your walk, look around you and name the colors and objects. 

As you are walking you note what you see.  Say it in your mind (or out loud if you wish). It would sound like this: “Purple flower, black car, green leaf, blue and white sign, red stop sign, yellow dandelion.”

It’s easy, but it gets you right into the present and QUICK.

We can easily walk and still have our “monkey mind” going wild.  Getting back to the present moment helps to calm the mind, get present, reduce stress and get refocused.

It won’t work if you walk with your phone, it’s too distracting and easy to get sucked back into your head. Leave it at home, or put it on airplane mode if you need it for the clock.

Better yet, bring a timer and put it in your pocket.  Then you can set the amount of time you want to be on your walk without being tempted by your phone.

Try a short little 5 or 10 minute “monkey mind taming” walk next time you are stressed or overwhelmed.  Let me know how it goes!

Even with a corporate job, you will find that this can be done.  It only takes 5-10 minutes so it’s just a little break.  If you have a job where you can’t leave when you feel the urge, just stop, take 5 mindful breaths and then make a point to do the walk on your next scheduled break.

After I took my walk yesterday there was no more stressing about running out of time because instead of thinking about the time I had left, I was thinking about the task at hand.

I hope this little tip helps lower your stress during the day!