(Photo by Jaki Good)
While many people are back to work after the holidays, Friday is a welcome relief from what may have been a brief stint back at work. Sometimes a two or three day week can be as tiring as a full five day run. You want to trust in your New Year's resolutions and hopes for a good start to '08 but the daily grind can get in the way.
The Spiritual Twist
St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, a founder of elementary school education in the United States, had a great way to solve all of this work-stress-work tension. She said, "God, who sits above, smiles at the anxious, calculating heart, and makes everything easy to the simple and confiding." As someone who gets paid to be attentive to details, I can certainly relate to this quote.
While this does not mean that all stress goes away, a simple and upright heart can go a long way to dialing back the tensions of daily life. What does it mean to be simple and upright of heart? To a man, I think that it implies a lifestyle that is not overcrowded by too much stuff and too many commitments. It also speaks of the need to make a difference in whatever we do but especially at work.
The Practice of Simple Trust
To put St. Elizabeth's quote into practice, try this for today:
- When you notice, physically, that you are under stress, step back and walk. Walk your hallway or go outside. Keep it under 5 minutes.
- Having moved your body to process some of the stress, sit down and write. Write on your Blackberry, laptop or in a notebook. Just write. Answer: "I am currently dealing with x@0%!" Just put your stress down on paper and get it out of your head.
- Return to work.
Some would say that this is overly simple. That is the point.