Here are 10 things you can do to reduce stress without adding more stress:
1. Just say no! An overloaded and insanely busy schedule is often the main source of our stress. You should look at all the things on your calendar and find anything that isn’t essential. Don’t set yourself up for the sense that your life is constantly spinning out of control by over committing yourself. You can and should decide how much activity is too much and learn to peacefully do less.
2. Focus on just one task at a time. This simple strategy reduces stress and will also make you more effective. If you are working on one project, don’t answer the phone or check email in the middle of that task. Ask family members to respect this focused time of completing a task undisturbed and you will get things done faster without feeling overwhelmed by other projects screaming (sometimes literally) for your attention.
3. Let’s get physical. There is a definite stress reducing benefit to exercise. Find something you actually enjoy doing and just get moving. Even if you can get in a 15 minute walk every day, it can have an impact on your stress levels and your sleeping patterns.
4. Prepare ahead. If you get stressed in the morning chaos and worry about being late again, get organized the night before. Feeling more prepared to start the day and getting off without raising your blood pressure will definitely decrease stress.
5. Take care of yourself. Take a hot bath with soft music, drink a glass of wine by the fire and curl up with a good book. When the stress of the day is catching up with you, stop and regroup. Some people like to meditate, take a nature walk or take a nap. Find your calming activity and try to do it as necessary.
6. Take care of your money. Finances can be a major stressor. If you haven’t already, you should set up an automatic bill paying system. Look at ways to simplify that will also save you money. Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.
7. Shop Online. Avoid the pushing, shoving, and parking trauma at the mall. Sit back, pour yourself a nice cup of tea and let your fingers do the shopping. Search for websites that offer free shipping without minimum orders so you not only save on gas but you don’t have the added shipping costs. Shop around and you’ll save money, time and reduce stress. I always check Amazon for great prices and you can get free 2 Day shipping with FREE Amazon Prime.
8. Lighten up. We often take ourselves and life’s surprises too seriously. Laughter cures many woes. Watch a good comedy or just find the humor in a crazy moment and laugh out loud.
9. Get rid of stuff. Less really can be better. If you get rid of clutter, a feeling of tranquility may enter that space. For even more stress reduction donate the stuff to a charity and take the tax break. Win-Win.
10. Love the one your with. Focusing on relationships is always going to have you come out ahead. It seems the more we focus on projects, houses or getting more stuff the more miserable, stressed and uptight we become. Make the decision to spend more quality time and hold deep and meaningful conversations with your loved ones. The benefits will be priceless.
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