- Mental Health
First Strategy to Lower Stress
Here are some steps you can take to help you SEE this change of stress-level from high to low:
a. Set your priorities.
Each day write down ‘what you must complete today’-#1, ‘things that need to be finished, but are not as important as the first list'-#2, and ‘things you can do after you have completed the higher priority items’-#3.
b. Create a relaxing/friendly environment
No matter how small the space in your environment, you can have a small something in it helping you maintain low-stress. It could be a plant, or calming toy, or some other item "creating a relaxing moment” within your environment. I use light and water and sometimes Lava Lamps to create this low-stress space for myself.
c. Take a break
When you feel like your legs can no longer straighten out because you’ve been sitting at the computer for HOURS. Have a facial, massage or take a nap!
If you're at the workplace, step out for a 10-15 minute walk around the parking lot. It will clear your mind and keep away fatigue. You can take something to read while walking, if you really want to, although I don't recommend it. You would better benefit by taking a nice walk and looking around at the natural things in your environment.
d. Assess your skills.
If you are feeling unsure about the security of your position at your current job and or wondering if you are doing a good job as a Mom, assess your current skills and your job’s/family’s requirements to determine if they are a “match”. Make a list of each. Congratulate yourself on the skills you’ve developed since becoming a Mom or working in your current job.
If, when you do this, you feel there is a gap between the demands of your job /your family’s needs and your skills in handling everything, do something about it! Find a course or workshop to take on the internet or in person, look your questions up on the internet, read books about the situation.
If you are dealing with your job, ask your boss to direct you toward some training. If you’ve had the training but are not using the skills you learned, ask your supervisor about ways to put those skills to work.
e. Accommodate change
I've been told this can be difficult for a majority of individuals. If you expect change to always occur, then it is not nearly as frustrating. Rather than being surprised by changes, anticipate that some of them will occur, just so you
are ready without getting flustered.
Make a game of it and try to guess what kind of change will shake things up.
When you are ready to accept that change is part of the whole picture, your entire attitude about things changing, process or procedural change, change to timeline is no longer as stressful. When you prepare for change, you prepare your mind to shift gear without getting frustrated. One technique I've seen is when someone leaves extra time at the end of their day, to prepare for change to occur.
The technique that works for me is just to realize that change is always going to occur, just due to life. The only way to handle it is to go with it, "go with the flow", so-to-speak. The trick here is to think about the end result ONLY, not how you will get there or acheive the goal. IE: Keep Your Eyes on the Prize!
f. Live well
Treating your body badly can make you vulnerable to stress, but you can take good care of yourself to help you take stress in stride. Eat well balanced meals, keep nutritious snacks handy, and avoid consumption of excessive amounts of alcohol, caffeine, and cigarettes. This is the relatively easy part! If you add exercise regularly and getting enough sleep, you will be two steps ahead of stress and it will be easier to take stress and any anger generated, right-in-stride.
Of course, everyone should exercise, but I really don't like it and it is hard to make myself exercise. Currently all I've been able to do is walk 10 minutes, once or twice a day (other than the usual daily walking). I've never been into sports, since I'm not very good at them, so I'm more of a spectator.