Let’s face it – almost everyone has stress in their lives. Most of the time, things are pretty easy to handle, but what about those times when life just seems to go into overdrive? What do you do when your life gets put on fast-forward and you just can’t keep up?
One option is to take a two week vacation to an all-inclusive resort. Assuming that isn’t available to you, maybe these tips will help:
List the options. Take a few minutes to think about ALL the options available to you. Before you just run with the first one that comes to mind, hang on for a few minutes to see if that “a-ha” moment pops into your head. This is always a good one to get help from a friend. Sometimes a person with a fresh perspective will spot an option that had completely escaped you.
One at a time. Make a list of things that have to be done and then attack them ONE at a time. Don’t look at the whole list at once. If you have to, cover it up with a piece of paper and just uncover one task at a time. By breaking the huge list into several smaller tasks, you will actually move through it quicker. As an added benefit, you will be encouraged by crossing each one off the list. Remember – divide and conquer.
Let me get back to you. Next time you are presented with a tough choice, don’t just make a snap decision. Simply say, “Let me get back to you on that.” The vast majority of the time, you can gain an extra day or two to sort out all the options.
Take a break. When stress is starting to build up, just take a breather. Go down to the break room and get a drink. If you work from home, take a few minutes to check the mail or let the dog out. Give your brain a few minutes to sort itself out and you will get much better results!
Will anyone notice? When you just can’t get part of your list completed, ask yourself this question: “What will happen if this DOESN’T get done- will anyone notice?” So many times, we have things on our ToDo list that aren’t really necessary at all. Take a minute to honestly answer the question and watch how many tasks disappear from your list.
Just say no. The biggest tip is to learn to say no. We bring so much stress upon ourselves by over-committing to things. If you are one of those people who just can’t say no – consider a compromise. Something like, “I’m just too busy to be on that committee right now, but I’d be happy to assist if they need some help.” You are better off giving 100% to one volunteer activity, than to give 10% to ten different activities.
If you can master these stress management techniques, you will be on your way to finding a peaceful oasis in your hectic life.
So how do YOU deal with stress? If you have any other tips, I’d love for you to share them. After all, who couldn’t use less stress?