Make Life Easier – Less Stressful

As I write this career tip, I am in the air, maybe 30,000 feet or so, on my way to Dallas and ultimately on my way to San Antonio. I have already officially missed my connection in Dallas because of lousy weather in Denver, which had nothing to do with me considering I wasn’t even in Denver.  The airport I just left was a zoo. Everything was delayed, every restroom and restaurant had a line and many, many people were extremely frustrated. I cannot say that I was thrilled about the situation, myself. I mean, like most business travelers today, I am busy and wanted to get on my way. I have projects to complete and deadlines to meet, not to mention wanting to be the best husband and dad I can be and all of the other things in life that demand time. The thing is, in the eleven years since separating from the military, I have always been busy and this year is no different. This year; however, my attitude and stress level have been different. I have recently read a few nutrition books and started listening to several podcast that have inspired me to improve my overall health.  I have also started to engage in focused relaxation techniques that have made life less stressful.  I am fortunate to work alongside a team of people who also have the desire to improve, as well.  We often spend time sharing different ideas and ways to get there.  I hope you will find a tip or two from the resources listed below that will help make life easier/less stressful.

 

Sleep: I heard Dr. Kirk Parsley recently talk about the incredible value of sleep. Dr. Parsely is a former physician to Navy Seals and now one of the foremost experts of sleep therapy.  He describes the value of getting a good night’s rest and all of the restorative functions that occur in your body while you sleep. This year, I have made an effort to get more sleep. I am more deliberate with my time at night in an effort to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I do not always get there, but when I do, I can see a difference in my performance at work.

 

Nutrition: As someone who spends a fair amount of time on the road, I know how easy it is to head down the eating path of least resistance, especially when the fast food restaurants are just down the road from my hotel. The year, I have read a few books on nutrition including Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes and The Calorie Myth by Jonathan Baylor. These books have given me a perspective on nutrition that previously I had not fully understood. Because of that, I eat better and feel better.

 

Exercise: Since leaving the military, I do not think there has been a time when I haven’t exercised.  It has always just been a part of life. This year; however, I have started to change how I exercise. My colleague, Joel Junker, recommended I read 5/3/1, 2nd Edition by Jim Wendler and I have been following different blogs like End of Three Fitness and Barbell Shrugged. I generally enjoy running, but have found myself running less and doing other exercises to keep things interesting. This year, I have rejuvenated my exercise routine, which has helped reduce stress and give me more energy.

 

Relaxation and Meditation: Recently, I started listening to Able James’ podcast “Fat Burning Man” (weird name, great content). He recently had a guest on his show that mentioned two different iPhone apps and said both increased his daily focus.  I immediately downloaded and tried both. The first is called Calm. This app walks you through different relaxation techniques that, after a missed connection in Dallas, will help me cope and de-stress. The other is Brainwave. This app uses alternating frequency sound waves (through headphones) to either give you an energy boost or help you relax. I can’t say I understand the science, but I do know that when I am groggy on the 6am out of San Antonio and have a pile of work to get through, I turn app on and feel ready to go.

 

I realize that the ideas mentioned above may not be new to you.  Likely, you already do some or maybe all of them. I have found; however, through my own experimentation that putting a small emphasis on sleep, nutrition, exercise and meditation has made me better this year. I hope you find similar results.

 

Pete