Natural Stress Relief Tip: Put Unexpected Delays & Downtime To Good Use

Sometimes a delay can give us that extra time we really need.

UnexpectedDelaysWhen I was younger and had little patience, I would easily become irritated, stressed and bent out of shape with unexpected delays, but with time, maturity, and experience I have learned this essential natural stress relief tip: It’s better to regard unexpected delays as a valuable opportunity to make good use of each moment!  Talk about a 360 degrees turn-around, right?

Over the years, I came to adapt a different perspective on delays and downtime, namely that downtime teaches me to be more patient. I now understand the value and importance of taking things as they come. Obstacles seem less daunting when I remain relaxed. I accomplish more through patience than through force.

So what do I do now when faced with downtime and unexpected delays.  First, I try hard not to let the old “impatient” me take over.  Instead, I try to focus on using my time productively when my schedule becomes disrupted. I take moments that would otherwise be wasted and turn them into something profitable. Sometimes that is easier said that done, but it’s well worth the effort. Managing my time well is like having more hours in a day to devote to the things I care about.

And there are important benefits to this new approach.  I notice that when I remain calm and happy, I create harmony. My mood influences those around me…positively!

I enjoy small talk while standing in long lines at the bank ( although the SLOW tellers at the bank are the main test of my resolve to be patient). I do the same when standing in long-check out lines at the super-market, even letting others with tow or three items go ahead of my when I have a cart full for items.  It’s a great feeling to see how others are affected positively by my mood when I turn these unexpected delays into an opportunity for something positive. 

I stretch my arms and legs when I am stuck in a traffic jam ( or when I am experiencing unexpected flight delays when traveling). I raise my arms over my head, and bend to each side. I lengthen my fingers and rub them from top to bottom. I gently massage my temples and brow. I count to ten and tell myself that I may not be the only one stuck in traffic, but I could be the only to make the best use of it.

Most importantly, detours and impediments deepen my mindfulness.  It’s an opportunity to reconnect with my body and surroundings. It’s an opportunity to reflect on my purpose in life. It’s an opportunity to focus on the present moment and find a way to enjoy it.

I have learned to greet unexpected delays with pleasure. I look for creative ways to put downtime to good use, each and every day!

What About YOU?   Tell us:

  1. What items would you like to keep handy to prepare for unexpected delays?
  2. What are 3 tasks you could work on anytime you are standing in line?
  3. What is one valuable thing you accomplished while you were sitting in a waiting room?


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About Darlene

Darlene is passionate and enthusiastic about helping women simplify their lives, develop stress resilience, regain balance, and find happiness, despite the personal storms life throws at them. She has published a popular series of stress management books which focus on simple, practical and healthy stress relief strategies, as well as provide FREE resources and services that help women become more stress-resilient.

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