Complete a Project to Reduce Stress

Reduce StressI am a project person, and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction to complete tasks once I start them. I don’t wait well, and when I have to rely on other people to move forward on a project, I get antsy. Earlier in the week, my feelings went beyond antsy. I was feeling agitated, irritated, and tense.

I woke up feeling grumbly yesterday morning, so I went for a vigorous walk, which helped release my tension and redirect my thinking. As I was walking, I decided I needed to do something that would help me feel empowered rather than hamstrung.

I thought about several projects that I could do that would not require help from anyone else. I settled on painting a couple of outdoor metal tables that had become dirty and dull through our long, wet winter.  When I got home from my walk, I grabbed my purse and drove to the hardware store. Within a few hours, the metallic silver paint on the legs and shiny copper tops had transformed the tables. I was thrilled with the way they looked.

But even more importantly, the activity distracted me from feeling frustrated about not being able to do any of the items on my long list of things I wanted to do but could not do without the help of other people.  Completing this one little project provided me with a sense of accomplishment, and it reminded me that getting upset about things over which I have no control is a waste of physical and emotional energy.

If you are waiting for a phone call, a diagnosis, an appointment, a surgery date, or anything else that is beyond your control and that’s making you antsy, try calming your nerves by getting out in nature, walking,  and doing some serious deep breathing. Once you’ve relaxed a bit, choose to take on one project that you can do without needing permission or help from anyone else. If you’re like me, taking action to complete something you can control, will provide you with a tremendous sense of achievement and freedom. It might even help you maintain your composure while you wait for others to show up and do what they promised to do.

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