In reality, there are as many different healthy ways to cope with stress as there are individuals. While meditation may work for one person, another might find such an activity frustrating, preferring instead to go for a long jog. There are some general things that everyone can do to take steps towards better stress management, especially when over-stress and overwork have become a way of life.
Identify the Stress
Of course, there are probably multiple factors causing you stress at this moment. The idea here is to figure out which ones are both the most stressful and the most likely to change with a little help from you. Some things are completely beyond our control while others demand only a small shift in scheduling. Work, relationships, family, school, health problems, negative attitudes, and crisis all cause stress, so look at this list and determine which area is the most out of balance.
Taking simple steps toward living a more well-rounded, healthy, and balanced lifestyle can help reduce stress levels. Exercise, practice healthy eating habits, avoid stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine, create a support system of friends and family to help share in responsibilities, and try to have a positive attitude toward life. By doing just one of these things, you can make a difference in how you feel and react toward stress.
Schedule and Organize
Many times we get overloaded with stress because we feel we don’t have time to do everything. This may simply be a matter of ineffective time management. Making to-do lists, prioritizing, turning down responsibilities when your plate is too full, and even scheduling time for rest and relaxation will help you get more accomplished so that you feel less stressed about what isn’t getting done. Also, organize your life so that you spend less time moving through the clutter to get what you need. Spending time in a clean and well-organized environment will help remove the clutter in your mind as well.
Change Your Mind
A lot of times, how stress affects us depends on our attitudes. Simply by changing how we view situations, we can change how stressed we feel. Being flexible, prepared, positive, and patient can help immensely, even if the situation itself doesn’t change. Also, be forgiving of yourself and others. Understand that no one is perfect, and you can’t accomplish everything all the time. That’s why prioritizing is so important.
“Me” time comes in a variety of forms, and it doesn’t have to be all about being alone. It simply means to take a break every once in a while to enjoy life and relax. If you’re at work, take a few minutes every once in a while to stretch or breathe deeply. Set aside time to spend with your family and friends, or start a new hobby. The possibilities are endless. The whole point is simply to make sure that you are taking time to take care of yourself.
The main thing to keep in mind about coping with stress is that it isn’t being “self-indulgent” or “selfish.” It’s important for your emotional and physical functioning, and deciding to make your life a less stressful place to be will help you feel refreshed and ready to tackle all those projects that once had you stressed-out.