In today’s world, stress, burnout and physical exhaustion have become a way of life for many people. I know for me I have felt this way a number of times in my life and it’s not healthy. In fact stress can be a major health risk if it goes on for too long. We all need to get a handle on what stresses us and diffuse this stress. This is the only way we are going to protect ourselves.
The way we and others cause stress can come from habits or our own thoughts and feelings about how things are going. I know for myself, there have been times where my altered perception was what caused me to be stressed. If you want to be calm and relaxed with less stress then be sure to read these different stress management techniques that I have found to be a lifesaver:
1. Get organized. You can plan all you want, but if you cannot find the project, list or information you were to work with, it is pretty stressful. I have two new best friends: Remember the Milk and Evernote. They help me keep track of everything that I need to do so I don’t forget about anything.
2. Make a list of what you want to accomplish, and then decide which are the most important things to do on that list. Do the important tasks first and then go to your less important items. This was a big one for me. I tend to treat everything as important. In order to avoid burnout, I have had to really improve my priority setting skills. It is still a work in progress but I have definitely made some great strides.
3. Allow for interruptions, changes, and adjustments. This was also a big one for me. I used to be told by some that I needed rollar blades because I was moving so fast from one task to another. This eventually wore me out. I realized that if you schedule yourself so tight that you can’t be interrupted for the 15 minutes you spent talking to an unexpected caller, you find yourself highly stressed. Instead, chill out and realize that there will be some interruptions and you can handle that. Again this takes time but make it a priority to work on it.
4. Have realistic expectations of yourself and others. Again, this was a big one for me. I didn’t know that no one is superman. In fact, I often compared myself to others and tried to emulate them. To me they seemed like superheros and I thought I could be the same. Realistically, you cannot get three days work done in one day so don’t try. Also, don’t wait till the last minute to get something done (yes you, Mr/Mrs. Procrastinator). All you end up doing is putting a ton of stress on yourself.
5. Take some time for a break a couple times a day. It is like changing gears and allows your mind to rest for a few minutes while you do something you enjoy, not something you have to do. I tend to go for a walk outside, listen to a meditation on my phone, or read the news. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it something you enjoy.
6. Find some time each day to exercise. This helps to burn off more stress and helps you ward it off at the same time. I have made exercise a part of my daily routine for quite some time now. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, my husband and I do a circuit training session before work. I do pilates on Mondays and Thursdays, and yoga on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Since I have started this routine I have been able to burn off that nervous energy that I usually have and I am able to approach things in a much calmer fashion.
7. Once you are done for the day, take some time to relax. Don’t finish your day working on something. Instead, find hobbies that you enjoy and do them. Going to bed having fun is a great way to reduce your stress.
Remember, stress is a part of life, but you also need ways to de stress and not let it get the best of you. These different stress management techniques have helped me immensely and I encourage you to give them a try. Not only will you feel less stressed but I can guarauntee you will be a much happier person.
So, has stress been getting the best of you? What kinds of things have you done to manage stress?