Leesa Barnes is feeling exhausted and I can identify with that. We take on too much work and then we don’t allow ourselves time to rejuvenate. Clients, family and friends all want a piece of us. If I may, I’d like to share two things that allow me to maintain a packed schedule and still preserve my sanity (most of the time):

Every Friday night my partner and I sit down to dinner. Just the two of us. No kids. No phone. We don’t answer the door. In fact, we wouldn’t leave the table unless it burst into flames. It’s just us, the food, some soft candles and a nice bottle of Wolf Blass. Even though we’ve spoken a zillion times during the week, we share our feelings about what was great, what was frustrating, and what was the overall emotion associated with the past seven days – both personal and professional. This Friday-evening ritual puts us in a positive frame of mind as we head into the weekend, even if each of us has to work in our offices several hours on Saturday and Sunday, which is often the case. I feel fortunate that my partner is a very smart, insightful guy, and a good listener too. Plus he does the dishes.

Every Monday morning, I meet with four business colleagues in a quasi-Mastermind session. For 90 minutes, we talk about our successes of the past week and our goals for the upcoming one. Each of us has a different kind of business, but we’re all independent, entrepreneurial and networked to the gills. We’ve all found that investing the time in this gathering each Monday helps us to focus our priorities. Sometimes it’s nice to have someone who’ll listen while you kvetch too.

So there you have it: my two calming rituals (not including my other favourite: a hot bath). What are yours?

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Writer, speaker, podcaster, communications and social media consultant, workshop leader and part-time university instructor. As a consultant, I emphasize the importance of storytelling and relationship-building, and enjoy helping people understand how today’s technology, combined with tried-and-true tactics, can help them communicate better with employees, customers and prospects.


  1. Donna,
    I appreciate that you have taken time to write a post that doesn’t motivate us to become more frenetic. Most of us have enough of that.

    I’ve been telling family, friends and professional colleagues about how stressed I’ve felt lately. Your post reminds me to take care of myself. How? Sharpen the saw, as Covey wrote. Or, enjoy relaxing time with my wife, as you suggest in your post. We are part of a couple’s study group, and one of the “group assignments” is to go on a date. How nuts is it that I have to schedule a date with my wife? Not as nuts as I am when I let those opportunities pass!


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