Sometimes, irregardless of our intentions, we end up becoming stressed out through the day-to-day aspects of life. Here's a few stress busting hints to assist in navigating those rocky days…
1. Don't think multi-task, don't think organize, think simplify! Multi-tasking is considerably overrated. And we can spend hours "getting organized" and creating "our plan." But in the end, it all adds up to the same thing: Trying to put too much liquid in the glass and having it spill over the sides because there simply isn't enough room for it all. Consider stress as a signal that maybe you need to pare away the clutter — wherever that may clutter may be. That could be time clutter, inner clutter, cyber clutter, material/physical clutter or "projects for another day" clutter. We are living, evolving, ever changing beings; consequently we collect, we attract, we coagulate. We're like boats with too many barnacles weighing us down. So consider not doing more in less time or with less resources, instead consider "What can I get rid of that I really no longer need."
2. Don't shoot for perfection. There's a time and a place for getting things just so — but when we're stressed, choosing the middle road offers us a way to accomplish much while keeping our sanity flowing. Let the A-Types and the control freaks seek perfection, choose your inner de-stressor to guide you as to how "well done" something really needs to be.
3. Make a list of your big time stressors and your minor stressors and see what you can realistically control. Those that you can't control, put off to the side and give yourself some leeway to not obsess over them. If you feel the need to worry or get upset over them, then pull out the list and focus some energy on brainstorming. When you hit a dead-end on the brainstorming, put the list away and get on with your day.
4. Take a nap, take a walk — take a break in some way, shape or form. It's not lazy to walk away from a situation for a bit and get a breath of fresh air. It may just help your creativity, give you a fresh perspective and offer some breathing room to get a handle on your emotions.
5. Think self-care — for yourself and others. Be a guiding light by choosing to get enough sleep, eating right and exercising, as well as taking time out to do the things you enjoy. All work and no play, makes Jack (and Jill) a dull, stressed-out individual.
6. It's okay to say no — it really is! Simply do it with respect. So if you know that you don't want to see a movie, volunteer, go out for dinner, help a friend move, etc. — then don't. But don't cut off the opportunity, offer up an alternative suggestion. "I'm really stressed by work right now, but how about we get together in two weeks?" Or, "I have so much to catch up on that I can't help you move on Saturday morning. But let me drop off the bagels and cream cheese on Friday night on my way home from work." Ultimately we all want to know that we have been heard, are respected, are valued and are supported. So while you may not be able at this point in time, to offer up what others want from you, there may be little things that you can do to help them instead.
7. If you are willing to lend a hand, then be willing to ask for some assistance when you need it. Which doesn't mean asking your neighbors to come over and wash your dishes, while you vacuum. But it can mean being willing to say yes when others do offer to help out. A wise woman once told me "I never say no when someone offers to lend a hand."
8. Keep a journal, make time to write in it several times a week (even if only for one page or 300 words) and examine where your own inner attitudes and perspectives might be causing some of the stress in your life. If nothing else, it helps to just get it all out on paper, so your mind can focus on other things. And over time, what you'll find, is that just the act of sitting down and writing will become therapeutic and tension releasing. And surprisingly, when you don't do it — then you'll become stressed!