Let’s be honest…the work week is largely responsible for stress levels skyrocketing into the danger zone.
They say it’s only forty hours out of our lives, but we all know that’s a lie. If it weren’t for having to be at work, we wouldn’t be getting up so early. There’s also the commute time. And the time it takes for us to decompress once we finally return home.
The work week isn’t going anywhere or getting shorter. It’s like the bully in the schoolyard, just standing by the swings, smirking at you, and waiting to shake you down for your lunch money.
So how do you deal with this kind of bully without completely losing your marbles?
I say you stand up to it. Don’t alter your routine. Just go about your business as usual. A bully often gets bored if he doesn’t get a reaction out of you, and will move on to a new, more rewarding target.
Do your thing. Get through the week. Don’t let it see you sweat. All you need to do is survive until 5:00, and then you regain possession of your soul.
Perhaps that sounds like lousy advice, but I’m all about not giving the stress any more power over you. Sure, making it through the day might be a struggle, but if you snap and lost your $%^&, then it becomes an entirely different beast.
So your advice is to do nothing? And you think throwing in a Star Wars reference suddenly makes it witty? Why not tell us to use the Jedi Mind Trick on the work week?
Patient, young Jedi. I’m still getting to my point.
Yes, my advice is to go about your business as usual, and not allow the work week to intimidate you into changing how you lead your life.
But there’s more Modern Philosopher wisdom on the way.
Survive the week, but then dominate the weekend.
If you can do that, you keep the bats in your belfry content, and your wardrobe free of straitjackets.
It’s how you recover from the week and then prepare for the next one that determines how well you are going to deal with whatever stress the work week throws at you.
These past couple of weeks have been rough. We have been short staffed at the office, so I have been working a lot of overtime. However, I have not missed a single day of running. Plus, I’m still going for walks on all my breaks and after dinner.
This morning, I started my weekend with a run of 7.25 miles. That’s a personal distance record for me, and it was exactly what I needed after the week I survived.
This week, I lost out on an opportunity that I believed was really going to help me move forward in my writing career. I’m very disappointed, and it was the sort of news that could have put me in a total funk.
But I didn’t let the stress break me. I just went about my day, kept working on the rewrite of my new screenplay, continued to outline the secret writing project, and reached out to a friend about working on another project together.
Then I ran 7.25 miles this morning. It is no mistake that I took it well beyond my usual 6 mile Saturday outing. That was me taking control of my life, proving that the weekend is my time, and reminding myself that I can not only overcome adversity, but also use it as fuel for my creative fire.
Running clears my head, and writing unleashes the creative flow that drowns the stress. When I want to treat my brain to a much deserved escape, I get lost in a good book. So I went to the library earlier this week, and checked out the new offering from one of my favorite writers, Dennis Lehane.
And because this week was extra stressful, I upped the ante on my escapism. It’s absolutely gorgeous here today, more like a Summer day, than the first Saturday of Autumn. With that in mind, I wandered down to the waterfront to read.
This was my view…
I found a bench in the shade, and then dove into the book for over an hour. It was incredibly relaxing, the fresh air cleared away any remnants of stress that had survived my run, and the peace and quiet made me feel like the rest of the world had disappeared.
Take that, stressful work week. You have no power over me!
I’m watching the Yankees, writing my blog post, and enjoying a most relaxing Saturday. That, Modern Philosophers, is how you beat the week! (And maybe stay sane…)