14 Tips How to Manage Stress
This article is about reducing stress, not “getting free of stress.” You can never be completely out of stress at any point in life.
What you can do is manage stress and reduce it. You can raise the awareness of yourself and self-care to the degree of developing self-love. You will know you reduced the stress level in your life when you start to feel peace for most of the day.
Whether you are going through some major challenge in life (death, divorce, sickness in family) or you are overwhelmed from everyday life (many projects, fights with spouse/partner, challenging children’s behavior), there are short-term activities for stress relief.
- Have a goal and a plan
One of the things stressing us the most is not having clarity on where we are actually going and what results we want in our lives. We all want things in life, but if we don’t spend time with ourselves and figure out what those things are, those aren’t goals. Set up some smaller and some bigger goals. Next thing, develop a step-by-step plan for how you will achieve those goals.
- Follow the plan action by action.
The feeling of regret after procrastinating is one of the worse feelings. Once you set up a plan for your goals, start delivering it step by step. Even if you don’t feel like it or you are tired. The amount of stress will be huge if you procrastinate and keep postponing the important things. When deadlines are coming, it’s better to have things in order rather than do them all at once.
- Prepare anything you can upfront
What things can you prepare in the evening for the next day? What are the things you can prepare on Sunday for the whole week? Can you plan what you will wear from Monday – to Friday during the weekend? Can you plan the meals for a few days upfront? Think of everything you have to do in a day and see what you can prepare upfront.
- Make a decision to disconnect for half of the day.
You can still do your job, and you can even spend time on social media for fun. But you can also make a decision to disconnect from your phone and computer for half a day – every day. Instead, connect with yourself, with your family, and nature.
- Spend quality time with your children and partner.
It’s better to book one hour in a day where you will be really present for your loved ones than spending 6 hours distracted, making “a few” phone calls, preparing meals, checking emails, playing with children while talking to your partner. That way, you are not entirely efficient for your work or your family.
Visualization is a great tool for stress-reducing. Just picture good scenarios of all the things that are happening in your life at the moment. In the process, try to really feel all those good emotions that you know will come once you are in those good scenarios.
Meditation is another great tool for stress relief. We are too busy, and we never slow down. During the day, we run an average of 64.000 thoughts in our heads, and we need a break from it. In meditation, we learn how to slow down and re-focus on the things that matter the most in our lives.
People can’t live without a human touch. Hugging can help in reducing stress levels. Oxytocin is released every time we are hugged. Oxytocin helps us feel safe and secure. Hugs make you happy. Feeling a little stressed right now? Hug your children, your partner, your friend, your dog…
Essential oils are very popular today. There is a huge palette of oils you can find on the market if you want to try this method for stress-reducing. Some people find it very calming inhaling scents of essential oils.
- Have fun
There is nothing like the old fashion tool for stress-reducing: having fun. Is it going to be a movie night, a long telephone conversation with a dear friend, a coffee at a coffee shop, dancing, dinner in a restaurant, dinner at a friend’s house, spending a day in nature – you pick. If things are too serious in your life right now – this advice is still relevant.
- Time management
Invest some time and effort to learn about time management and organizational tools. Trust me, it’s worth it. We all have 24h a day, but we don’t have the best skills to use that 24 h in our favor. Everything can be learned, and so this too. Imagine the amount of stress-reducing if you manage to organize your things and have time for everything?
Gratitude is also a tool for stress-reducing. If you are constantly on a mission to do the next thing and the next one, without stopping for a second and realizing all the blessings you already have in your life, there is a chance that you will feel like it’s never enough.
Gratitude increases your ability to keep a positive attitude in challenging times.
- Education and learning
Keep learning about different life aspects, like negotiating, personal development, handling difficult people, finances, etc. Many of these life aspects can be challenging for us, and we need the knowledge to deal with this.
- List of the most stressful things in your life.
Make a list of the things stressing you the most and see what you can cut off. Probably there are things from that list that you will have to continue to do. But I am sure that you will manage to cut some of your stresses when you see all of them on paper.