- Mental Health
Constantly Stressed: Tips for Stress Relief
Are you stressed?
In today’s society stress is a common problem. Our lives are so busy and so jam-packed with work, activities, appointments, meetings, schedules, and responsibilities, we often don’t have time for ourselves.
Let’s reduce the amount of stress and regain the balance. Let’s put some living back in life.
If you are feeling overloaded and stressed, if your schedule is out of control and your calendar is overbooked, this hub will offer some suggestions on ways to reduce the stress and regain control. By incorporating just a few of these tips to your day, you could be on your way to a less stressed, more productive, more enjoyable life.
Emergency Items to Keep On-Hand
- Spot remover
- Ink pen
- Writing tablet
- Safety pen
Just think of the stress that you can prevent if you have some of these things on hand during an emergency!
Give yourself plenty of time. There is nothing more stressful than a red stop light when you’re in a hurry. Learn how long it takes to get from home to school, to work, to church or to the store and then give allow extra time to accomplish that commute.
Learn how to plan and prioritize. If you have a big change in your future or a difficult project, write down all the things that will need to be done. Make a schedule for the tasks and pace them out according to timing and need. If you can manage your time wisely and accomplish things as you go, you won’t be overwhelmed and stressed out toward the end.
Be prepared for emergencies. Don’t be caught without an extra key, a little stash of cash or extra stamps. We all know who the women are who keeps emergency items on hand. I, personally, am not one of them. I marvel, however, at their skills. Whenever someone is in need of something, they have just the right item to save the day. Make a list of important items and keep them handy in your purse, your desk, or your car:
Watch what you eat. I know from experience that our lives can be so out of control and hectic that getting a balanced diet is often last on our long to-do lists. Yet keeping tabs on our junk food, sugar and caffeine can greatly reduce stress, anxiety, caffeine rushes and sugar crashes. Make an effort to eat right. Pack healthy snacks for work or for long drives. Plan ahead and bring your lunch so you won’t be tempted to run to the nearest fast food place. Watch for the ups and downs in your day and choose healthy alternatives to caffeine and sugar to maintain your energy levels.
Start your day off right:
Get up early. Just imagine what adding one hour to your day could do? I use this extra time for reading or writing or checking my e-mails. This is my time to get things done that are difficult when everyone else is clamoring around for my attention. How could you use an extra hour?
Have a morning quiet time. Everyone’s quiet time will look a little different, but even in your aren’t a morning person, taking a few moments to center yourself can bring huge improvements to the rest of the day. Quiet time for me always begins with reading my Bible and praying for my day. It helps me remember to put God first in my life.
Eat a nutritious breakfast. Mom always said that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. This is one tip that I’m terrible at following. Breakfast for me is often a granola bar. There is wisdom in following this, however. Starting out your day with a well rounded breakfast has great health and diet benefits and will set your day off on the right track.
End your day right:
Disengage from work or other activities. Try to keep your work life separate from your family time. Don’t take your stresses at the office out on your spouse and children. When you’re home, be at home. Be engaged in your conversations with your family. Ask them how their day went and what’s going on in their lives. Listen carefully to what they have to tell you, it may be something worth listening to.
Have an evening quiet time. Don’t fall asleep while watching television. Instead spend a few moments centering yourself. Reflect back on the day. What did you learn? What went well? What can you do differently tomorrow? Spend some time reading before bed or praying or journaling.
Get to bed at a decent hour. The best way to accomplish getting up early every day is to go to bed early as well. When we don’t get the proper amount of sleep, fatigue can add some unnecessary stress.
A few other stress-reducing tips:
Learn to say “No!” You can’t do it all. You really, really can’t. Say “no” to the little things that will put a kink in your schedule. Say “no” to the commitments that take you away from your family. Say “no” to the projects that conflict with your goals, dreams and vision. Saying “no” isn’t easy, but if you say “yes” to everything then you will easily become overworked, overburdened and very unproductive. Instead learn to say “yes” to fewer things and then make a commitment to yourself to do those things well. You will gain a better sense of accomplishment and have a more peaceful purposeful life.
Simplify. Too many activities, as well as too much stuff and clutter can be a major source of stress. Learn to throw away, give away or file those things that we can so easily accumulate. Remember, if you haven’t worn it or used it in a year, you probably won’t.
Watch your tongue. I know from experience that, saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person can be very, very stressful. I am still learning to watch what I say and how I say it. Think about your words before you let them out of your mouth. Read your e-mails and texts before you hit “send”. Think about how the person on the other end of those words may hear or read them.
Remember to have fun! We all still have a little bit of the kid inside. Do something in indulge the fun side of yourself everyday. Remember to laugh, smile and play. Sometimes we take life too seriously. Let’s lighten up and enjoy ourselves instead.
Treasure silence and solitude. Our world can be so noisy! Between the television, the car stereo and our iPods, we are quickly becoming a society addicted to noise. I’ve once heard it observed that the inability to be in silence is a symptom of a guilty conscience. Those who can’t stand the quiet are afraid of their own thoughts. Let’s fight this addiction to noise by making a conscious effort to spend some time in silence and solitude. Turn the radio off. Take a hike in the mountains without your headphones. Fill your soul with the peaceful sounds of quiet.
Make sure you spend some time to yourself. If you work at home or are a stay at home parent, learning to disengage can be difficult. However, with a little effort and planning, you too can take some time to recharge your batteries. Be sure to schedule time away from the children, either by yourself or with your spouse. Find friends to help out and trade babysitting with them. We will be more capable of taking care of others when we remember to take care of ourselves as well.
It would be too stressful to tackle all of these suggestions at once. Instead, make a note of two or three that you seem to struggle with the most. What’s one thing you can do to plan ahead better? What’s one thing you can do to start and end your day right? What’s one thing you can do to reduce the amount of stress in your life? Work on those items and see if you can make some small but effective changes in your busy day.
I hope this Hub was helpful. Be sure to vote it up. Let me know in the comment section below the things that help you reduce stress in your own life. What suggestions do you think would be the most helpful in regaining control of your day?