Days before my wedding, my mom gave me the best advice I’ve ever received.
Leading up to the wedding, I was pretty stressed out. Work had been crazy for months. My rehearsal venue canceled on me the Monday of the wedding week (btw only after I called them to confirm the menu … good times). Over 100 friends and family were on their way to California, and I wanted to make sure they thought the trip was worth it. Oh, and it was about 2 weeks before the 2016 election, so there was a general sense of fun and laughter in the air.
As I stressed in silence (my go-to reaction to stress — stone-faced, short-snappy-responses-only silence), my mom asked:
“How do you want to feel at the end of this? And set yourself up for that to happen.”
I quickly figured that stressed was NOT how I wanted to feel as we drove away at the end of the weekend. Instead, I wanted to feel light, happy and excited about my shiny new marriage. I wanted to know my guests had had fun, and I wanted to lead the charge. And I wanted to feel like I’d spent quality time with all of our friends and family, undistracted by logistics.
And then I let that intention guide me all weekend long — using it to bring me back any time something started to stress me out. (Only exception: photo-taking. I HATE having my photo taken. A snack bar helped me bounce back. )
This exercise has served me so well since then, though I am still working on using it in more scenarios – before client meetings, ordinary workdays, and even time with my daughter after I’ve had a long day. “How do I want to feel after?” And then get there.
And, if it makes sense, I use my calendar. While often it just requires a mental shift, it also frequently requires a bit of planning to make sure the things that will allow me to feel the way I want to feel happen.
If you’re game, we can work on this together (check out how here). How do you want to feel at the end of today? After this weekend? And how are we going to make that happen? And if it would help, let’s break out our calendars.