As a personal challenge, I have decided to embark on a 31-day challenge to lower my stress level, and make staying at home not so overwhelming. Each day, I will focus on one area of my life that can be cleaned up or addressed to help make my life just a teensy bit easier – and less stressful.
As a work-from-home mom, I have a lot that I need to deal with on the homefront. My relationships with my husband and my kids take up a lot of energy. Housekeeping and management take up a lot of time. My business(es) take up a lot of time. I don’t want to expend a lot of energy on outside people.
There are a lot of “outside people” in my life: clients, friends, family members, people that I deal with on a day to day basis. Each person has the ability to be a compliment to my life, but also has the ability to drain a lot of energy.
In the last few years, I have been making a conscious effort to follow the path of least resistance with a lot of people outside my “family bubble.” I try to be nice without getting pulled into the real nitty-gritty with people. I don’t want to get in fights about hurt feelings and misunderstandings, or complicated relationships. But it can be stressful.
Complicated relationships lead me to spend hours agonizing with my husband on how to best “handle” a situation or what I should say or do to correct a negative situation. As I get older, I start to realize that there are some people that are just toxic.
Toxic people (to me) are people who fall into a few categories: the “all about me” people, those that always have some kind of drama going on, those that have no boundaries, and those that just don’t act in an ethical or professional manner. There are others along the spectrum, but those are my big 4 for toxic people.
I tend to try to see the best in people, but you can usually see the toxic ones a mile away. I realize that I know they are toxic to begin with, but I try to give everyone a chance before writing them off. But giving toxic people a chance often leads them to pollute your “bubble.”
In recent months, I have begun to extricate myself from the toxic people in my life. It isn’t a one-day process, but it is something I actively do. I stop feeding the bears. Toxic people need to be fed, so once you stop feeding them with attention, they tend to move on to more attentive pastures.
The first step in ridding yourself of toxicity is to acknowledge who the toxic people are in your life and learn their MO. Who are the toxic people in your life? They are the ones you find yourself complaining about to other people. They are the ones that keep you up at night. You screen their calls and don’t want to listen to their voicemails. If you dread calling them, they are probably toxic.
You can’t extricate everyone, but you can start to be less attentive. You will find that if you stop answering their calls, they will find someone else to call. It doesn’t have to be some huge confrontation to end (or reduce) a relationship, as most toxic people do not focus on you personally, but rather the attention you provide.
Then, you can start to spend more of your energy on your family and the important things in your life. Like reducing your stress.
Ready to join in? Here is the series to date!
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