Is managing stress in 2014 top on your list? Even though we are a couple of months in the new year, people are still looking back on the previous year to see where or how they could do better. A new year, a new plan for a new you. Why not start with feeling less stressed than last year. How about some simple tips for a less stressful 2014!
Managing stress means understanding where the stress came from in the first place. If you are feeling overwhelmed, tired or under a lot of pressure it may be showing up in a number of unhealthy ways without you even thinking much about it. Smoking too much, poor eating habits, zoning out for hours on the computer or TV. Do you find yourself withdrawing from family, friends and activities? Are you sleeping much more than usual or taking your frustrations out on others? Those are a few of the signs that it’s time to think about stress and take steps to alleviate the symptoms.
Tips to De-Stress.
1. Identify the sources: Write down what gives you stress. It could be thoughts, feelings or behaviours as well as work.
2. Accept responsibility for the role you play.
3. Take charge of your emotions, thoughts, schedules and the ways you deal with problems.
4. Don’t procrastinate. If you’ve decided to take action against stress, do it now … don’t wait.
5. Set realistic goals and priorities. Reduce the number of events in your life and focus more time on what needs to be done.
6. Take control of the situation. Look around and see if there is something you can change or control in a situation. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Change what you can and put aside the rest.
7. Sleep. A lack of sleep is stressful. A good night’s rest rejuvenates the body and the mind.
8. Exercise. This includes the mind and the body. Get lost in a good book. Take a long walk or work hard at the gym. Taking your mind off an issue for a time may help you return later with fresh ideas and solutions.
9. Figure out what is most important. Prioritize. A friend once recommended finished each day by writing down tomorrow’s schedule on a piece of paper. Then walk out the door knowing tomorrow is organized and ready. When you arrive at work the next day, tackle the toughest item on the agenda first and get it out of the way. The rest of the day will look remarkably easy.
10. Discover new relaxation techniques. Learn how to relax yourself. How about meditation or deep breathing exercises? Both have proven very effective is reducing stress.
If stress is an issue, don’t wait. Get active in identifying and solving your stress problems and make 2014 a more relaxing year. And make sure you keep some “me” time!