If you feel like you can’t unwind at the end of the day, try celebrating the small stuff to help you shift gears, improve your wellness and even become more productive overall.
A few years ago, around 2 or 3 o’clock in the afternoon every day, I started to notice some anxiety kicking in. I couldn’t put my finger on the source. But it was like clockwork, every. single. work. day. Even when I went home, I wasn’t all there because I had this panic energy just obliterating any chance of quality time with my family.
I started to really focus on how I was feeling and the primary contributing factor was that my brain’s “off” switch was really hard to flip when there was always so much more work that I could be doing. At that time, I wasn’t holding other people accountable for their roles and responsibilities as much as I later learned to, so I made incredible personal sacrifices to try and do an impossible amount of work and I felt like I was falling short everywhere else in my life. And I was, so I started to look for ways to transition from working to living with less stress.
Scents of Purpose
I began giving my brain cues to chill out by using certain candle scents at certain times. I had a “work” scent and a “life” scent. Whether I was working from the home or from the office, I’d light “Mahogany + Bergamot” and I would blow it out when it was time to stop. At home and during my personal time I lit my favorite “Cashmere” candle.
A local candlemaker helped me create a signature scent for the store. We put huge, beautiful candles in the showroom and made branded tins that were perfect gifts for customers and prospects. Happened to work out really well for my system as well.
The Evening Shift
I created a playlist on YouTube and called it “The Evening Shift,” whenever I wrapped up work, I’d play a series of songs that made me feel good and that was super effective, too.
These and a few other practices helped me overcome that routine anxiety. I could continue on and on about what else worked (and what didn’t.) But, what I really want to share with you is a five minute practice you can do at your desk to close your day beautifully. Even if you feel great already, do it for five days straight and you’ll feel even better.
The best Practice that helped me kick my evening Anxiety for good is the ritual of celebrating the day.
I made a list of the things to write about at the end of every day and I put it inside the same notebook that I tracked my tasks in.
1. What did I accomplish today even on the days when it all went to sheet-vinyl, I’d find something that got done solely because I did it. Did you get some rest today? M’Kay! You needed it, that’s an accomplishment. Sometimes just the exercise of writing it all down would actually shock me because it showed the unbelievable level of responsibility I shouldered and how much pressure I’d put on myself. Whichever kind of day you’re having it feels good to acknowledge what you got done. In fact, science says that it actually changes your physiology.
2. Who and what am I thankful for because they helped me get it done. It could be your assistant or maybe it’s the faith you had that you’d hit that revenue goal. Take ten seconds and honor the factors that contribute to your achievements. Gratitude has a greater impact on your state of mind than anything else.
3. What magical moments did I experience find something that you LOVED about your day. A review from a Customer? Maybe you enjoyed being “in the zone,” scheduling blog posts and stacking up your social media posts. Or maybe a Rep showed up with food just as you were dying of starvation. Re-feel how you felt in that moment for a second.
I started doing this at my desk and kept a hard appointment with myself to do it every single day, and then sometimes I’d just do it in my head. And I still go back-and-forth. But I promise you, if you really need to get out of a rut, consciously celebrating your day at the end of the day for five days straight will make a difference.