I must admit, I have a good life. And I still get stressed.

I have a truly loving partner in life. We live well. We are all healthy. We are not at a loss for anything in our life. Yet even with all that, there are still times when I feel stressed, tired or uninspired. Maybe it’s because I don’t have enough time in my day to focus on my to-do list, or that my body is aching, or that I am worried a project won’t be successful enough. Just like everyone else, I can feel stressed too.

I recently came back from a retreat, where I set an intention to take time and be more present with my girls, and to have more fun. Summer is here and my kids are out of school, and for the last week or so I have been feeling dread; wondering how I would be able to entertain them during this week before camp starts. How would I fit in my work and still have them enjoy this week with me?

I noticed that I was seeing this opportunity to kick off summer playfully as an obligation, instead of an opportunity. So I’ve made it my work this week is to notice how simply changing my mindset and reframing my inner conversations from looking at things as an obligation (something I have to do) to an opportunity (something I get to do).

When we feel stressed, tired and uninspired it is usually because we have been forcing ourselves to do things even when we don’t want to. We see our to-do list, our exercise time, our parental duties, and even our work as things we have to do instead of things we want to do. If we want more joy in our life, we have to be call upon our child-like spirit, our playfulness, our light-heartedness and tap into more energy, more power and less force.

How can you fill yourself with more energy to enjoy life? Well if you really want to dive deep into this conversation join me July 20-22 to get the full set of tools. But here is how you can get started by reframing your obligations.

Ask yourself:

  • Why do I want to do this?
  • What will it add to my life?
  • How can I do this with appreciation and gratitude?
  • How can I make this fun?
  • How will I feel when I know am done – better or worse?

And add joy to the situation:

  • Put some good music on.
  • Invite a friend to join you.
  • Pretend you are a child and do it playfully.
  • Put yourself in a good mood before you do it by first doing what brings you joy.
  • Ask for help.
  • Create the environment that helps you lighten up.

Play juices our problem solving abilities, helps us see things differently and improves our health and state of mind. As psychologist Abraham Maslow said, self actualization is when the separation between work and play dissolves. So how can we make our work our play?

Only you can choose. So, will you see it as an obligation or an opportunity today?