Tips for managing stress in the New Year

Identifying what causes your stress is the first step in managing it. One helpful tool I recommend is starting a stress journal. Ask questions like:

  • 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.
  • 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; you will be defused and better able to handle the situation.
  • Time Management: Evaluate what you do on a daily basis to see where you can make adjustments so you have more time.
  • 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?
  • 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.
  • 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!

Photo Credit: Paul Wilkinson 

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