These past two weeks have been excruciatingly challenging for my family and me. My mother has been in and out of the hospital and is now in a skilled nursing facility. I’m the President of the school board charged with making a decision on closing a school in our district.” Add to that the normal, everyday stresses of running a consulting practice, being a husband, father, and dog walker.

I spoke to a colleague who is now being challenged with moving homes; having a 2-year old daughter at home with him while he works; and expecting another child in the next month. This chaos will eventually go away, but will be replaced by a new chaos. That’s the way life is. How you deal and respond with all of it will impact your business, your health, and your life.

Here are a few helpful tips to consider when you go through similar stretches…

* Find time to laugh. Watch a funny movie or television show; read a funny book; dive into your favorite comic strip. You’ve heard that laughter is the best medicine, and you know this is true. Create time for it.
* Have perspective. Life events are part of our existence. Many crises are self-inflicted. Many crises we refuse to let go and allow to rent space in our brains. No matter how bad it may be for you, someone else is being shot at, starving, homeless, or terminally ill. Keeping perspective is crucial to good life balance.
* Avoid becoming a “victim.” Victim mentality can seep into people when they think the world is against them or owes them something. They then become insufferable to others and themselves. Short-lived pity parties are acceptable, as long as they remain that – short. Then toss them aside and don’t allow them to return. The goal is happy.
* Be ruthless with your time. Don’t overextend yourself, especially in time of chaos. You may have to divert, change directions, or simply discard appointments, meetings, and events. Triage your situation and do what’s best for you.People always understand and are willing to work with you.
* Don’t be a “lone ranger.” Find solace and comfort in friends and family. Vent to someone who is willing to help (key word is ‘willing’). Ask for advice, go to lunch with a friend, and simply stay active with people. There are no hero awards for trying to be a “tough guy or gal.”
* Find some quiet times. Do whatever moves you in these quiet times – prayer, meditation, or simply doing nothing. Our brains need a little quiet once in awhile to get back into balance.
* Remember that you don’t have a personal life and a professional life. You have a life. And you only get one, so make sure you are maximizing it!

© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

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