- Mental Health
How to Reduce Daily Stress
I know you're no stranger to the occasional "one of those days". I'm talking about those days on which not a single thing turns out the way you planned. Somehow, they have a special ability to put a damper on just about everything. I'm here to let you know that you can make a stand. You don't have to just sit back while the "one of those days" tornado wrecks everything in sight. When you fear you've got one on your hands, use these simple tips to ward it off, and prevent others from rearing their ugly, havoc reaping heads.
Start Your Day Off Right
The morning is not something to be rushed. Not only does your morning set the pace for the rest of your day, but it sets the mood, too. Don't let it pass you by in a frenzy, laying a damaged foundation for the rest of your day. Instead, be sure to keep your mornings calm and soothing. I know it's hard since you're usually pressed for time on your way to work, but these tips should help you out a bit:
1. Set your alarm back a few minutes. If you provide yourself with enough time to actually take your time, mornings will run much more smoothly.
2. Limit coffee intake. The caffeine in coffee speeds up our systems, encouraging anxiety. Be sure to limit yourself to one cup so that you don't suffer later.
3. Eat something! Really, how many times do you have to be told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
Upgrade Your Environment
If you can, decorate your workspace a little. Place a small plant on your desk, or display a few pictures that you like. Provide yourself with something nice to look at that will make you smile, like a family photo or a portrait of your pet. Maybe you can even play some calm and soothing music at a low volume throughout the day. These little things can make a big difference.
Take One Step at a Time
It's easy to stress yourself out by letting your mind run wild. I know how it goes: "I have to get this done, and then after that I need to make that phone call. Oh, and at some point today I have to talk to so and so. What am I cooking for dinner tonight?..." ... and so on. These kinds of thoughts don't help you, they hurt you. Instead, make a list of the things that you need to do. Only focus on one task at a time. It reduces stress, and it allows you to give your full attention to the task at hand.
Leave Work at Work
When you're done, you're done. When the work day is over, that means any remaining worries are to be left at your desk. They will still be there when you get back tomorrow, which is the appropriate time to focus on them. Five o' clock is called 'quitting time' for a reason.
Reach Out to Someone
Positive interaction with others is a sure way to lift your spirits, as well as the spirits of others. It is important to pay attention to those we care about. Try giving your mom a call, just to see how she's doing. Invite a friend over for some tea. Sit down and have a conversation with your significant other. These interactions are important, and will help get rid of the tension.
Unwind and Relax
At the end of the day, make sure you take some genuine "you" time. Before you go to sleep, read a chapter out of your favorite book, write in your journal, watch an episode of your favorite TV show, or have a warm bath. These solitary activities have calming effects, will ease any tension you may still be harboring, and will prepare you for a good night's sleep. This is an especially important step since going to bed wound up will cause you to toss and turn all night.You want to be well rested and fully prepared for the start of your next day.