I have been a military spouse for over sixteen years now and have experienced my husband being away on “exercises”, “courses”, and a “tour”. Taking a part of my family away for any length of time puts additional strain, stress, worry and responsibility onto me. We have three children and due to military postings we had no family around to help when he was away. This meant that I had to do it . . . all!
I’m sure many women can relate.
While my husband was away, specifically on tour, he was in a high stress situation which had him focused, worried, overwhelmed, scared, excited, dialed in, surprised, and I’m sure a few more emotions were showing up for him. During this time, the same was happening to me. The difference is – before coming home to his family he was sent on three days of decompression. An opportunity to unwind, release stress, have some fun and chill out before heading home.
I was not given this opportunity to unwind or de-stress. I did not get a decompression. And this has led me to a huge Aha moment; a lot of the time we deal with high stressful situations and chaos; maybe it’s through work, or planning an event, or daily life of just managing…mostly everything. Are you taking time to decompress? If our soldiers get a mandatory decompression, we should certainly be adding it into our lives as well.
What do you do to decompress? Is it a runaway weekend with your spouse? Is it a road trip with your girlfriend? A night in an exquisite hotel? A day at the spa? Or a 2 hour long phone call with your best friend? And how often are you decompressing?
I’d like to take this a step further and teach you how to decompress every single day. After all, we know it’s how we handle stress on the daily that allows us to manage our emotions. But remember, this is a skill that is taught and implemented. It takes time to stop, remember, and execute. I’d like to introduce TRANSITIONS. Everyday, we are constantly transitioning. From home to work, work to home, work to social, social to home. Pay attention to your transitions and how you choose to react to situations. Despite some crazy days, you are always in control of your emotions.
As you transition from mommy leaving the house to the office do you take a minute to breathe, release from the crazy morning you may have had at home? A common example may look like this – kids not getting ready on time, your second cup of coffee is now being poured as the first one you left somewhere in the house and cant find it now, only to have forgotten your freshly poured cup as you rush to the car to make it on time. You’re frantically trying to remember the project for one daughter, the game for your son, travel arrangements, the dance recital, the grocery list that your have wrote down inside your mind, the laundry that you still haven’t folded, and seriously, what are you going to make for dinner tonight? As you pull into the parking lot at your work, are you running in to vent to your dear co worker? Are you still thinking about everything that needs to be done? Are you half paying attention as you struggle through another eight hours?
These daily transitions are key to keeping you emotionally in check and on track for having a successful and productive day.
So, how do you control your transitions?
Before you enter your next event, situation, or “need to be” place take a minute to breathe. Relax your shoulders and repeat the word “RELEASE” and let go of any tension that may still be lingering. Set your INTENTION on how you want to be when you walk into the office, or attend a meeting, or arrive home at the end of the day. Set your intention of being present and have that mental shift before physically arriving to your destination. This daily ritual was taught from a book – High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard. I love this concept as it is something quick and easy that you can do every single day and it comes from within.
Breath, release tension, set intention….go!
Try using this method everyday, anytime and anywhere. I hope you allow the time to decompress, incorporate regular self care practices and start to take a minute or two, to transition calmly and positively.