A young woman came to me a few weeks ago for a phone consult after attending my presentation on stress.

She certainly qualified as “stressed out”, reporting her stress level at a 10/10.

She didn’t necessarily want the promotion she got after returning from her first maternity leave.  But she’s a very responsible person, and the job expectations never let up.  She’s expected to drop everything to deal with work, even if it’s after hours or on weekends.

Since the job involves food recalls and public safety, it isn’t an option to say ‘no’ when the calls come.

With all the job responsibility and the time away from her family, she felt unhappy too much of the time.

I asked her how the wisest part of her wanted to handle this situation.  (She was already working on two possible external solutions.)

The third solution was to “come back to herself”.

Turns out one of the things she’d given up under the life pressures was martial arts.   Both she and her husband found it a great stress-reducer and they enjoyed doing it together.

She even remembered a time when she’d given a martial arts presentation to women in a domestic violence shelter.  At the time she felt she didn’t know that much about martial arts, but teaching it to women who didn’t know any was empowering and gratifying to both her and them.

After coaching with me, she made a commitment to schedule a Sunday afternoon of martial arts with her husband when an supportive friend could look after her little boy.

What essential activity helps you “come back to yourself” when life keeps piling on responsibilities you can’t say no to?

Make a commitment to integrating an activity you love (even for a short time) in your schedule.

And may you pursue your path, finding ways to return again and again to who you really are!

Best wishes,

Elizabeth