Stress is everywhere. As we take on more responsibility and grow increasingly connected to each other via smart devices, life becomes increasingly more stressful. in our lives. How we handle stress affects our physical, emotional, and mental health as well as our overall productivity. Here are a few dos and don’ts for managing stress effectively.
- List It– When you have so many thoughts swirling in your head, one may never know where to start. Do try to do a mind dump by creating a to do list. As much as I love technology, I still create my to do lists on paper. I love the physical act of being able to cross off the items I get done.
- Prioritize– I have a master list and then from there, I create a daily list, based on priorities. I started off years ago with just one on that daily list so I wouldn’t feel awful if it didn’t get done. I gradually added a second task and I never have more than three on my list. You don’t want to stress yourself anymore by not accomplishing tasks. If my day gets out of control, I still feel great that I have done at least one item on that daily list and the others go to the next day.
- Just Say No– In today’s work environment, it can be hard to say No to new requests and still be a team player. Likewise, with kids, PTA requests and the like. However, if you don’t have time for something and try to do it anyway you risk making mistakes. Turn down demands of your time that do not directly affect the impact of your office team or the well-being if your kids by saying, ‘I am so flattered that you asked but at this time my plate is full of other priorities’. You do not have to tell them what those priorities are. Just say that simple sentence and move on.
- Get Physical– When you have a lot of stress in your body, there is an increase in the level of adrenaline and cortisol. Moving will burn off those levels. Do go for a quick walk even it is around your office or home. If you can go outside and walk and breathe in fresh air, it will clear your mind and when you return, you will feel more energized to get to the task at hand. Some say even doing housework that you have been avoiding is a bonus. Not only are you getting household work done, but you are reducing your level of stress!
- Take An Hour– This quote, on the wall of SoVital Fitness in Littleton, really inspired me: “You owe yourself one hour a day of self-maintenance. It can include reading, writing, yoga, exercise, dancing, meditation, painting, or whatever, but you owe it to yourself. One hour, 1/24 of your day. That’s less than 5%. It matters, it really does. Make it count.” Take one hour, every day, for yourself.
- Stay Hydrated– Try to drink 68 ounces of water – 8 glasses or 2 liters – a day. This can take the form of water, flavored water, water with lemon juice added, or herbal tea. Staying hydrated helps lubricate your joints, protects your spinal cord, and regulates your temperature. Staying healthy is a great way to reduce stress.
- Sleep– We all keep hearing how important sleep is to our overall health. When dealing with stress, sleep is often what keeps awake at night as our mind wanders and churns. Try to unwind for at least an hour before hitting the bed. Take a warm bath, drink some chamomile tea, or read a book to relax your body and mind and make your eyes tired. I diffuse lavender to help me sleep better. Skip the electronics but if you must have a phone near your bed, download the Calm App or do a search on iTunes for “Sleep” and listen to a sleep story or relaxing music.
What are some ways that you deal with stress and find have really helped you? Share here in the comments or post to my Facebook page.