Ah, the waves of mental, emotional, and physical stress throughout a week.   Stress is inevitable in today’s society of multi-tasking and hectic schedules.  It can leave one feeling overstretched, overwhelmed, and over it. 
Our lives have many areas that bring pressure and tension.  But, it doesn’t have to weigh us down.  Below are 11 tips for managing stress:
  • Say “no”.  This applies to personal and professional areas of life.  Know yourself. What are your limits?  Where is your line between manageable and too much?  Then, set boundaries.
  • Remember to breathe.  This sounded too simplistic when I was younger.  However, I now respect the mind and body reset that is a few deep breathes. 
  • Regroup.  Practice watching your thoughts and actively change perspective.  You can choose to get stressed out while driving behind a jerk or take an opportunity to pause and refocus your attention on something helpful…. i.e. music, book on cd, quiet time.
  • Embrace imperfection.  Striving for perfection causes unrealistic expectations.  We then don’t meet the expectation, and then become frustrated.  Instead of shooting for 100%, going for 80-90% gives some wiggle room and reduces stress.
  • Take you time.  Breaks are important.  Where in your day can you schedule time for you?  Even if it is 15 minutes of walking without children, co-workers, or solving a problem.
  • Exercise.  Not news, however, a friendly reminder.  Physical activity reduces the effects of stress on the body.  Minimum is 30 minutes, 3 times per week.
  • Push pause button.  When something upsets you, be active not reactive. Give yourself a moment, collect your thoughts, and respond in way that you will be proud of later.
  • Plan ahead and arrive early.  Running late cause stress.  It is usually avoidable. 
  • Get organized.  What is it like to look at a messy car, home, or desk?  Find the time to organize areas in your life and then keep up with the systems you created.
  • Be grateful.  Each day reflect on what you appreciate about your life.  This includes outside and inside of you.  50 Ways to Show Gratitude
  • Control what you can, let the rest go.  Many things we can’t control including people’s behaviors.  Focusing on changing them is useless.  Instead, we can redirect our efforts on our response to their behavior.
Happy relaxing,
Sarah Ward