8 Tips for Stress Management
Do you feel overwhelmed by too many tasks on your To Do List and too many worries? Here are some techniques to lower the stress.
1. Write each task you have set for yourself on a separate piece of paper. Also, include Time Out. Crunch them up and scatter them on the floor. Pick one up and work only on that task. While you are working on this one thing, none of the other chores matter.
2. Make a list of all your “Shoulds”. These are the things you think you should be doing. Go down your list and prioritize. Which one is the most important for you to do today? Which ones can wait? What can you discard?
3. Take time out for “Me” every afternoon. Make a list of activities that bring you enjoyment. Include one of these every day. If you neglect yourself, you’ll get so frazzled that you won’t be able to accomplish anything, and your body will rebel with physical ailments.
4. Keep up with your exercise routine, and maybe try something new. If you do it with a friend, this will help provide motivation. Lots of people use yoga to relax. If that isn’t your thing, put on a CD of party music and dance around your kitchen.
5. Take a walk. Listen to the birds, smell the flowers, feel the breeze on your arm. Don’t think about yourself. Be aware of your surroundings.
6. Use visualization to relax: Lie on a couch and close your eyes. Imagine yourself in a pleasant setting, then think about the sensory details. Here’s an example: Picture yourself as a small rock beside a bubbling brook in the woods, by a waterfall in a tropical jungle, or lying in a sunny meadow. You can’t move but you can hear the water trickling and the birds singing. You can feel the sun’s heat and smell the morning dew. Clouds obscure the sun, and it rains. The rain washes away your worries. You have no more concerns. Savor the joy of nature in your imaginary locale. If you prefer a soothing beach scene, listen to the ebb and flow of the waves, smell the salty air. Do this for ten minutes as a Time Out exercise. When your heart rate and breathing have slowed, tell yourself that when you open your eyes, you’ll feel calm and relaxed. Then open your eyes, wait a moment, and get up to face the day.
7. If you’re a worrier, make a list of all the things bothering you. They won’t seem so bad when you put them down on paper. Take action on the things you can control, and put aside the rest.
8. Let go of the guilt. This is the hardest one. Don’t feel it is wrong to take time off for yourself or to pay for luxuries like a manicure. You deserve it, and it’s important for your mental health. Watch a TV show during the day, read a novel for a half-hour, listen to music. YOU matter. If you don’t take care of yourself, you’ll lose focus. You won’t be able to complete your tasks or take care of anyone else.
If you’re still plagued by anxiety, you might want to see a therapist. Sometimes getting to the root of what truly bothers you will relieve your mind. But if you’re just frazzled by your daily routine, some of these techniques might prove helpful.