You might be unsure of where to even begin with your stress management.
Papers won't stop needing to be graded.
Your child won't stop needing a ride to (insert any multitude of extra-curriculars!).
Groceries won't stop needing to be bought.
Managing your stress is about taking back control in all aspects of your life.
Take back control of the things you can control:
your thoughts, your emotions, your choices and your environment
So, first things first!
Identify the things that cause stress in your life.
Make a list.
Is it stressing you out that you always seem to be hecticly running out the door each morning, inevitably forgetting something super important while you're at it?
How does that make you feel? Panicky? Sweaty? Confused? Identify how you feel physically feel because of the stress.
Now, identify how you usually handle stress-
Are you a smoker?
Zoning out in front of the t.v.?
Do you overeat?
Ok, so now think of some healthier ways to deal with these stressors.
I just quit smoking last week!
Which is great, super healthy, but now what am I supposed to do for stress??
My first healthy option is to breathe.
I used to breathe when I was stressed. Well, breathe in a lot of cigarette smoke!
But now, giving myself a full 10 seconds to breathe (without the cigarette smoke!) gives me enough time to let whatever super stressful feeling I have to mellow a bit.
Then I can think clearly and assess the situation.
I recently read an article on stress management that lists 4 important stress management strategies:
- Avoid the stressor
- Alter the stressor
- Adapt to the stressor
- Accept the stressor
Avoid unnecessary stress!
Learn to say "no" when asked to take on more than you're comfortable with. (Nope, sorry, I can't set up the cookie table for the parent/teacher conference today, thank you for thinking of me though.)
Avoid people who stress you out. (Is the staff lounge a nice place to eat lunch, or is it full of people who should have retired years ago because they hate their jobs?? Find someone upbeat to eat lunch with! Or go for a walk during your break.)
Alter the situation!
Don't bottle up your emotions; speak up when things bother you. Alter yourself-- alter your reaction. Be assertive. Take control of your schedule and how you spend your time.
Look at the big picture and stay positive!
If you haven't heard the "Serenity Prayer" before, it's a useful mantra for more than just recovering alcoholics. It's a great thing for everyone to remember.
"God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference."
Please take a look at the article discussed above here:
So what do you think?
Are there any things here that you think you can do to help with your stress reduction?
Not one thing will work for every body. A combination of things, catered to each individual is what usually works.
Do you have another strategy you'd like to share with us? You might be able to help someone find a way to manage their stress! Please share your ideas below!