If you've been in to the office over the past few weeks, you've met the newest therapist on staff, Riley (here she is in case you haven't been in). She absolutely loves going to the office and helping to bring a smile to everyone who comes that day.
Riley is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi that our family rescued a couple of months ago after she nearly died. Her little body reacts to any kind of stress in the air. To stay healthy and happy, she has a rather finicky diet that requires lots of TLC. I've spent a lot of time learning about canine diets. She now eats better than the rest of us! 🙂
But even though we've been learning how to help her with her own stress, Riley has taught us just as much about managing our own worries.
Enter “Stop, Drop, and Roll”
You probably heard this in elementary school during fire safety week. If you ever catch on fire, God forbid, just stop what you're doing, drop down to the floor, and roll around.
It's probably been years since you last thought of that, huh?
Well Miss Riley does this countless times per day. She does it in the house on the rug. She does it outside in the clover. She does it when you're trying to clean up. She does it when you're not paying any mind to her. She does it when I'm on the phone doing a consult. She just DOES IT!
(Can't see the video? Click here.)
And, it makes her HAPPY! She actually looks like she's smiling. Then she rolls right into it all over again. I could watch her do this all day long because her happiness is contagious. I've had thoughts of joining her in the grass and just rolling through the clover, too (secret confession: one person in our home actually did this).
So Why Don't We Stop, Drop, and Roll?
Being grown up has its disadvantages. Not being able to stop, drop, and roll wherever you want, like a two year-old is one of them.
However, if we use this as a metaphor, then you CAN stop, drop, and roll your way out of a stressful situation.
STOP doing things that don't fit in with your goals, job duties, time parameters, or needs. If you spend all day on Saturday making freezer meals, but no one likes them, then no matter how much time they are supposed to save, you're not really making good use of your time. If going to the gym to walk around the track there takes too much time out of your day to change clothes and get there, while getting back in time to pick up your son, then don't do it. Walk around the soccer field while your son practices. Take the dog out on a walk around the neighborhood.
DROP unrealistic expectations. Expecting to work a full day, sleep 8 hours, spend quality time with the family, cook a decent meal, watch your favorite one hour TV show, and not feel rushed? There are only 24 hours in a day. How can you combine some of those things to be more realistic? Can you spend quality time with your family cooking dinner together? Can you watch your favorite TV show together (and take turns on the game you're playing during the commercials)?
ROLL out your plan with others. Share with your family that you'll be delegating more to them. Tell your co-workers that you'll be taking 30 minute lunch breaks so you can beat the traffic and have time to work out. Send a text to other household members to let them know what's on tap for the evening. You'll help keep the resistance down by giving everyone a heads up. They'll also be able to readjust their expectations, making it a win-win for everyone.
So what will you stop doing in your life?
What expectations will you drop?
What plan will you roll out to help cut down on the stress in your life? Feel free to comment below to share. Sharing will actually increase your likelihood of things happening!