In today’s media frenzy, you are constantly bombarded with news of tragedy, war, economic upheaval, and more and doom and gloom headlines. All this just makes you want to scream.
You focus on the problems and not your reactions to them. That is where you open the door and let stress in.
Here are ten quick and easy things you can do immediately to help keep your stress level under control:
1) Establish consistent routines – Put your keys away in the same place every day. Establishing a predictable, consistent routine allows more time to focus on other important things. Having things in a specific location cuts down on time spent looking for them and in turn reduces frustration.
2) Avoid Rushing – Keep a small amount of cash handy to avoid rushing to the ATM. When you rush around trying to fit in just one more thing, your stress level increases.
3) Be Prepared – Always keep a minimum of a half tank of gas. That way, you won’t have to concern yourself with a low gauge when your thoughts should be on where you are going.
4) Tidy up at night – Spend ten minutes at night tidying up so that your day will not start off cluttered and disorganized.
5) Organize your work clothes, lunches, and any work materials you will need for the week on Sunday evening. You will have more free time in the morning and cut down on stress. If something needs ironing, you can either iron it Sunday evening or select something else. You save time and frustration the next morning when all is taken care of and you’re not rushing.
6) Slow Down – Whenever you feel overwhelmed by stress, practice speaking more slowly than usual. You’ll find that you think more clearly and react more reasonably to stressful situations. Stressed people tend to speak fast and breathlessly. By slowing down your speech you’ll also appear less anxious and more in control of any situation.
7) Complete One Simple To-Do – Jump start an effective time management strategy. Choose one simple thing you have been putting off (e.g. returning a phone call, making a doctor’s appointment) and do it immediately. Just taking care of one nagging responsibility can be energizing and can improve your attitude.
8) Manage Your Time – Use a time management system to keep you on track. It can be electronic or paper. The important thing is that you adhere to a schedule.
9) Get Some Fresh Air – Get outdoors for a brief break. Our grandparents were right about the healing power of fresh air. Don’t be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even five minutes on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating.
10) Recharge at the Day’s End – Plan something rewarding for the end of your stressful day, even if only a relaxing bath or half an hour with a good book. Put aside work, housekeeping or family concerns for a brief period before bedtime and allow yourself to fully unwind. Remember when you take the time to replenish and energize yourself, you’ll be much better prepared to face another day.
Use these simple tips to reduce your stress level and you will immediately see amazing results!
Gladys Anderson, founder of Coach for YOUR Dreams, is a certified life coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and speaker. Gladys combines years of experience, training and a genuine commitment to helping nurses, teachers, therapists and other care giving women to set limits so they have more time, and energy to devote to self-care.