Trouble sleeping lately? Grouchy and aggressive? Short-tempered and lacking patience? Tired and worn out? Sore shoulders and headaches? If so, you might very well be experiencing stress.
Stress has become a predominant factor in our lives. Luckily it is fairly easy to manage stress once we are aware of the symptoms and know the steps to take.
Scheduling is effective to reduce stress and get time to do all the things you need to do. First step is to write down all the tasks which needs to be done. Next you prioritize them in order so the most important is first. Clear out all the unnecessary projects and tasks. Divide large projects into smaller manageable steps and focus on one step at a time. Start with the largest and most important task.
Be sure to schedule time for relaxation. By having enough air in your daily schedule you have room for the unforeseen and can eliminate many potential stress factors. Make sure the time you have planned for relaxation and fun becomes that and don’t fall for the temptation of getting those chores done while you have that break. Use your child’s nap time to get a bit of time for yourself. Relax, read a good book or catch a nap and don’t let that pile of dishes beckon you.
Exercise and relaxation
It’s important to exercise. Not only for our general health and well-being, but also as stress management. Exercise gives us a physical tiredness which aids us in obtaining a deep healthy sleep, which again allows our body to relax completely while our body recovers and heals itself.
Practising relaxation, both physically and mentally will quickly reduce your stress. Since stress increases stress, any step to lower stress is helpful and will aid in breaking that circle. Yoga and meditation are two excellent techniques to achieve both physical and mental relaxation. They are structured practices which provide you with a set of instructions on how to obtain relaxation.
Make sure you find time to do good things for yourself, like watching a film or reading a good book. But even better, get out and visit a hamam and be spoiled for two hours with mud wraps and massages or enjoy a visit to the hair-dresser. You can go to your favourite café with a friend, take a walk through the forest or sit in a park while you feel the sun warm your skin. Any activity that you take time to truly enjoy will aid in dealing with stress.
Make sure you get enough sleep. Sleep is essential for both our physical and mental health. It is during sleep that our body heals itself from the strains of the day and our brain has time to deal with the intellectual and emotional issues we face.
Lack of sleep causes us to have a shorter temper, it makes us more prone to negativity and potentially brings depressions. Since lack of sleep also affects our body, our immune system can be lowered and we risk catching yet another round of gastro (stomach flu). Proper rest and healthy sleep change our entire outlook on life as well as strengthen our body to deal with the challenges it is exposed to every day.
Focus on the good in life and don’t think about the bad things. By focusing on the good you give yourself a strong tool to deal with all the various stress causes present in your life. Focus on the victories you have, on the good things you do and experience. Focus on what you get done during a day and don’t dwell on all the things you still need to do. Do not allow yourself to dwell in negative thought patterns but recognize them as a destructive behaviour that will not change your situation or reduce your stress level.
It is a process that takes training and effort, but it is well worth it. Our approach to life and its demands is what makes the entire difference in how we deal with the situations that come up and how stressed they make us.
Use your friends, family and networks to lighten your burden when you become overwhelmed. Join networks with other people in similar situations as yourself. There we all share the same type of problems and stresses and there is always someone who can relate. It can also be useful to join social networks as a volunteer to help out those less fortunate than ourselves, as it allows us to put our own problems in perspective.
Use your networks to lend you a hand when you are in need of a break and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. It is what we are here for.