E: Essential Oils to De-stress

A2Z-BADGE [2016]

E: Essential Oils to De-stress

Aura Cacia states: Relaxation is the most desired benefit of aromatherapy. People crave respite from the stresses that fill our daily lives. Unfortunately, the world keeps piling on the anxiety while pulling us further away from what grounds and balances us. Aromatherapy is a way to reward ourselves simply and effectively with fragrant, natural substances that nourish mind, body and spirit.

Essential oils that help us achieve a state of relaxation include: chamomile, benzoin, bergamot, cedarwood, clary sage, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, lavender, neroli, patchouli, rose, sandalwood and ylang ylang.

Dr. Axe has a page ‘The Top 7 Essential Oils for Anxiety’. These oils will all help you de-stress, a useful technique for anyone that works in a job that has a lot of public contact. He has information on these seven essential oils, along with guidelines on using each one:

This page also has a good de-stressing neck rub recipe: Lavender, Rose, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Bergamot, Chamomile, and Frankincense.

lavenderEasy Lavender Neck Rub
INGREDIENTS:
3 drops pure lavender oil
1 teaspoon fractionated coconut oil or almond oil
DIRECTIONS:
Blend the lavender oil and coconut or almond oil in your palm and rub onto your neck for natural anxiety relief. You can also rub onto the bottoms of your feet. This is perfect for anytime or just before bed.

Oh, decisions, decisions…which oil to use? A lot will depend on your own preferences for scents. My own personal all-time favorite is frankincense, closely followed by neroli, geranium, cedarwood, and bergamot. However, I have a dear friend that could live and breathe patchouli every day of the year.

These oils are all available from a multitude of online sources. However, if you aren’t familiar with how any of these smell, I’d advise a trip to your nearest health food store. Other healthy foods stores, such as Sprouts, or Whole Foods, also carry a selection of essential oils also. Try them out, see which ones you like and give them a try. Sometimes just a whiff from the bottle does a major de-stress, making you able to keep a smile on your face, able to survive another day.

keep calm and relax

Advertisements

D: Distancing

A2Z-BADGE [2016]

In participation with the A to Z Blog Challenge for 2016, I’m posting about how to survive retail life with a smile, in an A to Z theme. We’ll post every day during April, except Sunday’s – when we all get time off for good behavior.

I hope you enjoy these posts about customer service with a smile. Check out some of the awesome blogs that are participating in the A to Z Challenge this year. There’s over 1700 blogs participating in the challenge, so I’m sure you’ll find some treasures in there.

distancing

D: DISTANCING

In most real life situations, and especially relationships, distancing is discouraged. Often, people use this create space when feeling overwhelmed or smothered. The downside is that it minimizes authentic interaction and can cause more damage in the long run.

However, in certain stressful situations that occur in retail or with customer service related problems, using this technique for specific occasions can help us diffuse the situation and stay calm.

Much of the time during a difficult moment, one of the parties becomes angry and the problem escalates. When the emotions are raging at full boil, with no resolution in sight, the tenseness and emotional turmoil often permeates the circumstances and without restraint or control, both parties can soon be embroiled in a furious debate.

This is where distancing becomes a useful tool for the person that wants to retain a professional demeanor. If we can mentally take a step back and distance ourselves emotionally, it can help us remain calm and removed from the emotional drama threatening to envelop us.

Personally, I’ve used this method, both in the challenging position in my municipal employment, and also during my seven years of retail. At the moment that I create a distance between myself and the other party who is upset, I also like to place an invisible, protective wall around myself.

Different protective walls can be used. Many like to picture an invisible brick wall surrounding them. Or a clear, impenetrable barrier. My own favorite is to picture a healing, calming spirit of white light surrounding me that helps me remain steady and composed, while protecting my spirit from the barbs being thrown my way.

The psychological effects of detachment that benefit us in a difficult work related positon are:

  • Helps us gain, and improve, our emotional self-control
  • Helps us maintain a polite behavior
  • Helps us remain true to ourselves, and be less swayed by social influence
  • Helps us experience less emotional reactivity

Just remember to leave this tool at work. It’s not one that you want to bring home with you, nor do you want to use this for extending periods of time. Long term this can produce undesirable symptoms in our relationships with others.

But for a now and then use, to diffuse angry interactions with customers and clients…priceless.

A: AFFIRMATIONS TO SURVIVE RETAIL

A2Z-BADGE [2016]

In participation with the A to Z Blog Challenge for 2016, I’m posting about how to survive retail life with a smile, in an A to Z theme. We’ll post every day during April, except Sunday’s – when we all get time off for good behavior.

I hope you enjoy these posts about customer service with a smile. Check out some of the awesome blogs that are participating in the A to Z Challenge this year. There’s over 1700 blogs participating in the challenge, so I’m sure you’ll find some treasures in there.

A: AFFIRMATIONS TO SURVIVE RETAIL

“That’s IT. I’m leaving retail. This is my last Christmas season working a retail job!”

Those were the words I uttered – almost a year ago. And then, there I was, looking at aisles filled up with Christmas merchandise that we’d been receiving for the last four months. Our extended holiday hours started the next week. I was still working retail, despite the courageous statement I’d made at the end of the last Christmas season.

I couldn’t quit yet.

I was locked into another holiday sales cycle, with the long hours (some 12 to 14 hour days), the frenzied work schedule (too much to do and not enough time), a new manager that pushed-pushed-pushed, and a store filled with harried, stressed and irritable shoppers.

Our co-manager had a pet phrase he often used. It was his attempt to inspire us, and remind us that we were in charge of our attitudes. “Every day’s a good day!” he’d bellow out as he unlocked the doors to let us in. “Welcome to where happy people come to work. Where every day’s a good day.”

Most of us, in our pre-caffeinated, still bleary-eyed state, mumbled a greeting in return. It was usually along the lines of: ‘yeah, yeah’ – or ‘right!’ (Said with prerequisite sarcastic tone). Sometimes he was met with stony silence. Often, many of us wanted to take that ‘every day’s a good day’ and whomp him upside of the head with it.

Until the day I left for home and screamed at the top of my lungs for the first two miles. I felt calmer. I was also hoarse for the next two days.

Something had to change.

I started listening to words I told myself.

I’m too old for this.

I’m too tired for this.

I’ll never make it through Christmas.

I can’t keep going like this.

I don’t have the energy or the resources to deal with this.

I realized how negative the words I spoke silently to myself were. My body was only doing what I kept telling it to do.

The first change I made was in response my manger’s morning greeting, “Every day’s a good day!” Instead of scoffing, laughing or coming back with a smart aleck response, I’d answer, “Yes it is.” Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive, spoken words.

Next, I made a list of affirmations – positive statements to read aloud before I went to work each day.

I fly through this Christmas season with ease.

My energy levels are higher than ever.

I enjoy my job and am thankful for the benefits I receive from it.

I complete my tasks easily and quickly.

I am drawn to foods that keep me healthy and give me energy.

This is the easiest holiday season I’ve ever worked through.

I didn’t want to merely survive these frantic months. I wanted to retain a peaceful demeanor and have the energy to enjoy a happy home life after the work hours ended.

Did consistently using these affirmations make every day perfect? No. There were still moments of aggravation that would creep into the day. There were still days where survival was the only goal. But … the days were better. Some days were great. And, here we are moving towards the end of January. I survived the holiday season. I am still sane. I didn’t commit homicide. While very glad that the frenzied days are behind us, I ended the season less frazzled than ever before.

Now I need to change up the affirmations to get me through this next week – inventory week!

EDGD01_Enjoy my job and benefits

Count to 10

Breathe and Count to 10COUNT TO TEN

Our mother’s advice to our younger selves still comes in handy, as much as we hate to admit that we can hear her words echoing in our adult ears.

“Take a deep breath and count to ten.”

“Count to ten before you respond in anger.”

“Count to ten before you act rashly.”

Her words still apply today, even though we’re not fussing with our siblings, or having arguments on the playground.

Count to ten before we hit ‘send’.

Count to ten before we answer our manager’s rude request.

Count to ten before we respond in anger to the irate customer that’s been battling with us for the past five minutes.

Although, it’s probably a good idea to count quietly inside our head and not out loud – in the interest of not riling the customer, or manager, any further.

When you’re having one of ‘those days’ and you’re tempted to blast the next person that crosses you, pull up a little mom advice from years ago and try it out. Count to ten. It’s not an answer for every situation that plaques our work environment, but there are times that these three little words are worth their weight in gold.

Every Day’s a Good Day: Affirmations to Survive at Work

Today’s post is a selection from Every Day’s a Good Day: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession, scheduled for release February 2016.

EDGD01_Enjoy my job and benefits

Affirmations

“That’s IT. I’m leaving retail. This is my last Christmas season working a retail job!”

Those were the words I uttered – almost two years ago. And, there I was last year, looking at aisles filled with Christmas merchandise that had been receiving for at least four months. Our extended holiday hours started the next week. I was still working retail, despite the courageous statement I’d made at the end of the prior Christmas season.

But, I couldn’t quit – not yet.

I was locked into another holiday sales cycle, with the long hours (some 12 to 14 hour days), the frenzied work schedule (too much to do and not enough time), a new manager that pushed-pushed-pushed, and a store filled with harried, stressed and irritable shoppers.

Our co-manager had a pet phrase he often used. It was his attempt to inspire us, and remind us that we were in charge of our attitudes. “Every day’s a good day!” he’d bellow out as he unlocked the doors to let us in. “Welcome to where happy people come to work. Where every day’s a good day.”

Most of us, in our pre-caffeinated, still bleary-eyed state, mumbled a greeting in return. It was usually along the lines of: ‘yeah, yeah’ – or ‘right!’ (Said with prerequisite sarcastic tone). Sometimes he was met with stony silence. Often, many of us wanted to take that ‘every day’s a good day’ and whomp him upside of the head with it.

Until the day I left work and screamed at the top of my lungs for the first two miles. I felt calmer. I was also hoarse for the next two days.

Something had to change.

I started paying attention to the words I spoke to myself.

I’m too old for this.

I’m too tired for this.

I’ll never make it through Christmas.

I can’t keep going like this.

I don’t have the energy or the resources to deal with this.

I realized how negative the words I spoke silently were. My body was only responding to what I kept telling it.

The first change I made was in response my manger’s morning greeting, “Every day’s a good day!” Instead of scoffing, laughing or coming back with a smart aleck response, I’d answer, “Yes, yes it is.” Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive, spoken words.

Next, I made a list of affirmations – positive statements to read aloud before I went to work each day.

  • I fly through this Christmas season with ease.
  • My energy levels are higher than ever.
  • I enjoy my job and am thankful for the benefits I receive from it.
  • I complete my tasks easily and quickly.
  • I am drawn to foods that keep me healthy and give me energy.
  • This is the easiest holiday season I’ve ever worked through.

I didn’t want to merely survive these frantic months. I wanted to retain a peaceful demeanor and have the energy to enjoy a happy home life after the work hours ended.

Did consistently using these affirmations make every day perfect? No. There were still moments of aggravation that would creep into the day. There were still days where survival was the only goal. But … the days were better. Some days were great. And, moving towards the end of January. I found that I survived the holiday season. I was still sane. I hadn’t committed homicide. The customers – and my manager – were all still alive. While I was very glad that the frenzied days were behind me, I ended the season less frazzled than ever before.

Next, I needed to change up the affirmations to get me through the next week – inventory week!

********

Thank you for joining us today. I hope you enjoyed this tool to help survive a work day. Have you used affirmations before? Do you think affirmations would help you get through a difficult situation?

Be Gentle with Yourself – Tomorrow is Another Day

Be Gentle with Yourself – Tomorrow is Another Day

(Today’s post is an excerpt from EVERY DAY’S A GOOD DAY: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession.)

EDGD_be gentle with yourselfToday was one of “those” days. You know what “those” days are. I know you do, or else you wouldn’t be reading this. And it reminded me of an important nugget I had to share.

This journey of remaining optimistic in the face of retail or service annoyances is not a smooth, even road. Yes, this is a journey that we’re on, hopefully progressing at a somewhat steady pace. Some days or weeks we’ll make great strides, reaching reservoirs of patience and infinite calmness that we didn’t know we possessed. And other days, well … they exist, those days where we feel like we’re back at the beginning. Our goal is, or should be, to have continued growth, be it baby steps inching along, or be it huge leaps bounding along the path. At the end of each day, if we can look back and see progress, whether in large or small increments, that is what’s important.

For this issue of remaining positive in our working environment is not an all or nothing thing. It’s not one-day-we’re-Negative-Nellies and the next day …. Whoop … Instant-never-wavering-Positive-Polly’s.

There will be days, and even weeks, where we’ll sail along on an optimistic tide – always cheerful, patient, nary a grumble escaping from our lips. And then, in one moment, it all comes to a screeching halt, with steam rising from our collar, our ears bright red with aggravation, and temples pounding, warning of an impending headache.

Today was one of those. The day was almost over. Thirty more minutes and a genuine smile was still on my face. My order was completed well before lunch time, leaving me some extra time to help order in another department. General maintenance in the department done, labels on, new labels ordered, a few packages repaired. I’d even had time to pop in and watch my safety videos for the month. Check. Check. And Check.

I was still cheerfully assisting customers, helping them figure out fabric dimensions for a project and taking them to other areas of the store in search of what they needed. I had the duster out, finishing the last of my zoning (general straightening and cleaning of our departments) when I heard a voice behind me.

Yep. There he was. The district manager. I didn’t even know he was in the store. Thank goodness at least he caught me in the middle of doing my job and doing it properly. But, his impromptu visit rearranged the rest of my day.

I called for my zone check, which we can’t leave without the closing manager walking our department to ensure we’d done a proper zoning.

Fifteen minutes later – nothing. No response. I went looking for the closing manager. Ah, she was in the middle of a discussion with the DM.

That’s okay. It shouldn’t take long. It’s still not quite time to clock out. I’ll be patient and catch her in a few.

And then, in my pacing, I pass by the office and see all three managers sitting in the office, with yellow legal pads on laps, and the DM sitting behind the desk.

Now my dilemma. It’s now past time to clock out. I can’t clock out without a manger checking my zoning. Yet, I can’t stay late waiting for them. It’s already marked on my sheet that I’m 0.20 OVER my allowed time (yes, that’s a whole 12 minutes over. We can’t have that!)

I can’t go. I can’t stay.

There’s a third option. Interrupt the grand powwow in the office and ask. Woo-boy … I’m not EVEN going to go that route! No siree! I’ve never been on the receiving end of the wrath of the DM. But I’ve seen others there and I know that that’s one place I don’t want to be.

By 4:08 pm the convention was over and I got my reprieve. Now I’m 20 minutes over, instead of my 12 minutes. And by now the shoulders are tense, the jaw is clenched and the cyclone of aggravating and irritating thoughts is rampaging through my brain, stirring up every negative thought about this job that I thought I’d laid to rest long ago.

No matter the progress, no matter how consistently you’ve improved in wearing the mantle of cheerful optimism around your shoulders, just know that in a moment, you can be right back to where you started on this journey.

My purpose of sharing this story with you isn’t to garner your sympathy. It’s merely to show that we all, every one of us, has moments where we revert to a negative, complaining employee. And that’s all right.

What you need to take from this is

  • Don’t beat yourself up.
  • Be gentle with yourself.
  • Tomorrow is another day and another chance.

When setbacks appear, don’t spend your time and your energy whipping yourself over it. Admit it happened. Acknowledge that you’re human, just like the rest of us. Know it happens to us all. And go on.

Go home. Treat yourself to a comfort snack. Call a friend. Take a long hot bath. Get a good night’s sleep. And go on. It won’t be the last time. But as you gain more practice at remaining positive, these instances will happen less frequently, at longer and longer intervals.

Affirmations to Survive Retail

i speak and think positively“That’s IT. I’m leaving retail. This is my last Christmas season working a retail job!”

Those were the words I uttered – almost a year ago. And then, there I was, looking at aisles filled up with Christmas merchandise that we’d been receiving for the last four months. Our extended holiday hours started the next week. I was still working retail, despite the courageous statement I’d made at the end of the last Christmas season.

I couldn’t quit yet.

I was locked into another holiday sales cycle, with the long hours (some 12 to 14 hour days), the frenzied work schedule (too much to do and not enough time), a new manager that pushed-pushed-pushed, and a store filled with harried, stressed and irritable shoppers.

Our co-manager had a pet phrase he often used. It was his attempt to inspire us, and remind us that we were in charge of our attitudes. “Every day’s a good day!” he’d bellow out as he unlocked the doors to let us in. “Welcome to where happy people come to work. Where every day’s a good day.”

Most of us, in our pre-caffeinated, still bleary-eyed state, mumbled a greeting in return. It was usually along the lines of: ‘yeah, yeah’ – or ‘right!’ (Said with prerequisite sarcastic tone). Sometimes he was met with stony silence. Often, many of us wanted to take that ‘every day’s a good day’ and whomp him upside of the head with it.

Until the day I left for home and screamed at the top of my lungs for the first two miles. I felt calmer. I was also hoarse for the next two days.

Something had to change.

I started listening to words I told myself.

I’m too old for this.

I’m too tired for this.

I’ll never make it through Christmas.

I can’t keep going like this.

I don’t have the energy or the resources to deal with this.

I realized how negative the words I spoke silently to myself were. My body was only doing what I kept telling it to do.

The first change I made was in response my manger’s morning greeting, “Every day’s a good day!” Instead of scoffing, laughing or coming back with a smart aleck response, I’d answer, “Yes it is.” Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive, spoken words.

Next, I made a list of affirmations – positive statements to read aloud before I went to work each day.

  • I fly through this Christmas season with ease.
  • My energy levels are higher than ever.
  • I enjoy my job and am thankful for the benefits I receive from it.
  • I complete my tasks easily and quickly.
  • I am drawn to foods that keep me healthy and give me energy.
  • This is the easiest holiday season I’ve ever worked through.

keep calm and use an affirmationI didn’t want to merely survive these frantic months. I wanted to retain a peaceful demeanor and have the energy to enjoy a happy home life after the work hours ended.

Did consistently using these affirmations make every day perfect? No. There were still moments of aggravation that would creep into the day. There were still days where survival was the only goal. But … the days were better. Some days were great. And, here we are moving towards the end of January. I survived the holiday season. I am still sane. I didn’t commit homicide. While very glad that the frenzied days are behind us, I ended the season less frazzled than ever before.

Now I need to change up the affirmations to get me through this next week – inventory week!

August 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jul    
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031