In Tough Times, Take Time to Fill the Well

Break the cycle of tension and anxiety by taking time to do the things that heal and energize you.

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Curt Rosengren
One of the most common themes I hear these days is the feeling of stress and anxiety. People are worried about the economy. They’re worried about their jobs, and whether or not they’ll still have them next month.

When that anxiety starts to build, it can be easy to just grit our teeth, hunker down, and try to make it through. Nothing wrong with that in the short-term, but so often that sets off a chain reaction where the tension ratchets up and, figuratively speaking, we forget to breathe. The more tension we feel, the more anxiety we feel. It’s a vicious circle.

Over time, that tension and anxiety is depleting. The longer you’re immersed in it, the more it drains your energy. And that has a negative effect on every aspect of your life, both work and personal.

If you find that sense of unease growing, don’t just grit your teeth and squeeze a little tighter. Take a deep breath and ask: “How can I fill the well?” What can you do that energizes you? What can you do that nurtures you? Who can you reach out to that has a grounding effect on you?

Maybe it is an activity or hobby that always helps you settle down. Maybe it’s exercise. Maybe it’s meditation. Maybe it’s a community that helps you feel supported and not so alone. Whatever it is, the more you can consciously bring it into the picture, the better equipped you’ll be to navigate these turbulent times.

Try this: Ask, “What fills my well?” Make a list of things that can help reduce the tension and increase your sense of well-being. Pick one thing and start incorporating it into your life. Keep looking for more ways to fill the well.

After years as a professional malcontent, Curt Rosengren discovered the power of passion. As a speaker, author, and coach, Rosengren helps people create careers that energize and inspire them. His book 101 Ways to Get Wild About Work and his E-book The Occupational Adventure Guide offer people tools for turning dreams into reality. Rosengren's blog, The M.A.P. Maker , explores how to craft a life of meaning, abundance, and passion.