7 Stress-Management Tips for the New Year
Traffic, loud noise, workload, too many commitments, not enough time in the day — these are examples of stressors or things that cause us stress. Everyone has some level of stress, good and bad. It is how we handle ourselves when we are in a stressful situation that makes the difference between a normal amount of stress and chronic stress.
Here are some tips for how to reduce your stress.
7 Ways to a Better You
Identifying what causes your stress is the first step in managing it. One helpful tool I recommend is starting a stress journal. Include the following questions:
- What caused the stress?
- How did you feel physically and emotionally?
- How did you react to the stress?
- What did you do to make yourself feel better?
Once you have identified your stressors, here are some ways to help you deal better with the stress you have.
- Humor: Laughter is the best medicine, even to relieve stress. Laughing promotes muscle relaxation and decreases blood pressure, resulting in a relaxing feeling overall. I don’t know about you, but I will take feeling relaxed over stressed any day!
- Count to 10: Walk away from a stressful situation and count to 10, 20 or 100 if necessary. Take deep breaths in between counting if necessary. Chances are when you return to the situation, you will be defused a little and better able to handle the situation.
- Time Management: Not enough hours in the day? This is where you can really take some time — literally — to evaluate what you do on a daily basis to see where you can make adjustments so you have more time. Do you turn on the computer or TV right when you get home from work or when the kids go to bed? If so, give yourself 30-60 minutes to tackle some of your to-do list before you go for the electronics.
- Enlist Help: At home, in the office or on a committee, if you have too many tasks or obligations, see where you can delegate. Can your kids or spouse help with some things around the house? Can you carpool so you can work on your riding days?
- Have a Positive Outlook: Have you ever heard that smiles are contagious? Well there is research that holds this to be true. Having a positive outlook is also contagious; people want to be around happy people, not the opposite. Be a trend setter and smile (insert smiley face here).
- Take a Time Out: Finding time for yourself is one of the best and most important things you can do for yourself and your health. Schedule “you” time in your calendar as a normal appointment. If you wouldn’t cancel on a client, why would you cancel on yourself?
- Talk it Out: Air out your stress with a family member, friend, co-worker or a professional. I like to write things down; sometimes the problem doesn’t seem as bad once I take time to really think about the situation. Use whatever method works best for you to get things off your mind. You will feel better, trust me!
Stress can wreak a lot of harm on your body if you let it get out of control. The good news is that is preventable and manageable.
How do you manage your stress?