5 Ways to Reduce Stress

November 20, 2011 by  
Filed under Personal N*Powerment, Self-care

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We can’t eliminate stress from our lives. The only way to not have any stress at all is to be dead and I prefer the alternative. What we can do is reduce the amount of stress we experience by making a few simple changes to the way we do things. Here are 10 things you can do to bring down your stress level starting today.

1. Remove the word selfish from your vocabulary and replace it with self-care or “selfing”. In order for you to take care of the people you love you need to take care of yourself first. If you friends, family, loved ones look to you as a model, make sure to model self-care, taking time to relax, read, and do whatever makes you feel rejuvenated.

2. Give yourself time for delays and unexpected events. When mapping out your day, add an extra 20 minutes to an hour cushion to your schedule. This extra time will keep you stress free and running on time if some of your appointments are delayed, or if you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while, so you can enjoy a spontaneous conversation without the guilt of running behind schedule. This is extra hard for highly motivated people because we are always in a rush and want to be everywhere early or on time. Plan for delays by keeping a book with you or other simple tasks that you can do while you wait. This way you won’t feel that you are being unproductive, because the truth is feeling unproductive–like you could be doing something else–is what you really find most annoying about delays.

3. Balance out your commitments. A great way to cut down on a hectic schedule is to balance out all new activities by removing an old activity. Don’t add anything new, work, classes, or volunteer activities to your plate unless you first remove something from your schedule to balance it out. This will help you to let go of projects that no longer serve you.

4. Be like a two year old. Well, not exactly, but use the word “No” more often. No is not a bad word, in fact, not only is it a complete sentence, but it’s a great stress reducing word. There is no need to justify or explain when you say no to someone’s request. Just give them a friendly smile, thank them for including you, and tell them you can’t do it this time. If you are having trouble getting used to saying no right away, tell the person you need some time to think about it, then call them later and decline to be involved this time. I know, you want to do it all, but the truth is you can’t. Stop stressing yourself to be all things to all people. To give your best to the people and experiences that you are involved in you can’t overextend yourself and over-commit.

5. Maximize your commute and errands. If you have errands to run, combine them to one trip. Take note of all of the things you do in one area and plan to do all of those things on one day instead of making several separate trips. For example, I pick up my doggie’s food, the dry cleaning and the laundry in one trip because they are all in the same area. Order whatever you can online so you don’t waste time on buying bulk items in stores. Listen to audiobooks during your commute.

 

Try to implement these 5 tips this week. I’ll share 5 more next week!

What are some of your own tried and true stress-busting tips? Share them with us in the comment box below

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