How Charissa Houser Finds Peace and Positivity Every Day

The Patient Recruitment Specialist leans on her morning ritual to let go of stress.

Photo of Charissa Houser at Colchuck Lake in Washington. Courtesy of the author.
Photo of Charissa Houser at Colchuck Lake in Washington. Courtesy of the author.

I recently set my fitness goals on my Apple watch, and this has really helped me to move more regularly! On days where I’m too busy for a dedicated workout, I try to incorporate small bursts of movement into what I’m doing, like going for a walk or lifting weights during a conference call. I also prioritize my spiritual life by waking up earlier to read my bible or pray. Even if it’s just for five minutes, it helps me to start my day off right and feel better throughout the day.

I feel a lot calmer and mentally clearer when I’m prioritizing my spiritual and physical health. It helps me to handle stress and unknowns better. I can take a deep breath and remember a verse I read that morning, or notice how my body is feeling in the moment and be intentional about relaxing and letting the stress go. I’ve learned that my days are much more positive and peaceful when I’m making time for those things.

To focus on better eating habits, I’ve started something I call themed meal planning! This makes cooking more fun and creative, and helps me to be proactive about eating healthy. It’s not always easy to change your go-to meals or eating habits, but giving myself a positive incentive makes it so much easier to stick to.

I’ve also had to shift my mindset when it comes to work. I can be very focused on the work I’m doing and not take the time to engage my co-workers in conversation. Some part of me thinks this is distracting or unproductive. But being a remote employee, I’ve learned that it’s important to be intentional about getting to know my co-workers, since it doesn’t happen as naturally as when I worked in an office. I try to attend the team meetings and get-togethers whenever possible, and I try to speak at least once per call. That way, even if it’s just for a few minutes, I’m engaged. I also try to ask more questions about what’s going on in my co-workers’ lives, like “How did you spend your weekend?” or “What’s new with your kids?” It takes some time, but really it isn’t taking away from the work that we’re doing or making us unproductive. It’s much more meaningful working with people that you actually know!

If I could give my younger self some advice for reducing burnout, I’d recommend taking things off of my plate and focusing on what matters most in that season. I naturally want to be involved in everything, but that’s a recipe for burnout. Now that I’m limiting how many things I’m involved in and what I say yes to, I feel much more balanced and rarely get exhausted.

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