Are you craving unscheduled time?

When I travel and speak on work/life balance I consistently hear three things from my fellow Americans: a) Things are moving too fast; I’m spread too thin and consequently I’m not effective at work or at home, b) I feel like I can’t unplug; being constantly tethered to my phone is stressing me out and c) life feels like a treadmill of to-do lists, where’s the joy?

stress management

San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, TX

Can you relate?

Last Friday I travelled out of town to deliver a keynote at a women’s conference. I arrived the night before and while I had a lot of pressing deadlines, I knew what I needed most was some fresh air, a change of scenery and to move my body — it had been a hard week.

So I did what I love to do when I travel: I tucked away my phone and started wandering downtown, zig-zagging up and down streets and taking in unfamiliar sights, smells and sounds. After a leisurely dinner alone and a stroll on the river’s edge, I found myself at dusk in a plaza facing a beautiful historic church (turns out that the San Fernando Cathedra was founded in 1731 and is the oldest continuously functioning religious community in the state of Texas). I went inside, soaked in the gorgeous paintings, meditated and lit a candle for someone close to me who is struggling.

This brief outing helped me shift from feeling stressed out to experiencing awe and wonder. But the best thing about the evening? Being able to relax into an expanse of unscheduled time.

How do you respond to stress (read 3 Causes of Stress)? What is your body telling you it needs right now (pay attention: usually if we’re over-doing, we feel this as a tightness in our upper back/shoulders, a constriction in our chest or discomfort in our belly)?

I challenge you to pull out your calendar right now and carve out some unplugged, unscheduled time. Space where you can wander aimlessly and explore, like I did. Or, simply sit and stare out the window doing nothing (I love all the studies on how good daydreaming is for our brains).  Maybe it’s a Friday afternoon or an entire Sunday.  Leave your phone at home (it will make all the difference in the world) and let me know how it goes. Want more? Check out my blog post on 8 Ways to Reclaim Your Humanity.

WANT TO STRESS LESS? HERE ARE THREE OPPORTUNITIES: 

Enjoying a sweet moment with a beautiful mother/daughter duo at my last Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health Retreat. I love how many mothers/daughters/sisters attend our retreats together!

  • Hire me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on life balance, resiliency or self-renewal in 2019-2020. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years on work-life balance and managing your energy.  My clients include Fortune 500 companies, national conferences, nonprofits and organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com with questions.
  • Craving authentic community and want to find (or create) your tribe? Learn more about our global sisterhood of RTA-Certified Facilitators  and empower/support women in your community! More here on how to become a RTA-Certified Facilitator and join our inner circle ($100 off through 3/31 for training; learn more + includes private coaching with me).
  • Filling quickly! Join me May 1oth from 9-4 in San Antonio, TX at the stunning, peaceful, 19-acre Cathedral Park at the Bishop Jones Center for our New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat (Mother’s Day Weekend); check out the bring-a-friend specials but don’t delay-this always sells out.  Learn more.

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker and stress management expert Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance and mindfulness including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.

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