1. One thing at a time.
This is the simplest and best
way to start reducing your stress, and you can start today. Right now.
Focus as much as possible on doing one thing at a time. Clear your desk
of distractions. Pick something to work on. Need to write a report? Do
only that. Remove distractions such as phones and email notifications
while you’re working on that report. If you’re going to do email, do
only that. This takes practice, and you’ll get urges to do other things.
Just keep practicing and you’ll get better at it.
2. Simplify your schedule.
A hectic schedule is a major
cause of high stress. Simplify by reducing the number of commitments in
your life to just the essential ones. Learn to say no to the rest — and
slowly get out of commitments that aren’t beneficial to you. Schedule
only a few important things each day, and put space between them. Get
out of meetings when they aren’t absolutely essential. Leave room for
down time and fun.
3. Get moving.
Do something each day to be active — walk, hike, play a sport, go for a run, do yoga, STRETCH! It doesn’t have to be grueling to reduce stress. Just move. Have fun doing it.
4. Develop one healthy habit this month.
getting active, improving your health overall will help with the stress.
But do it one habit at a time. Eat fruits and veggies for snacks. Floss
every day. Quit smoking. Cook something healthy for dinner. Drink water
instead of soda. One habit at a time.
5. Do something calming.
What do you enjoy that calms
you down? For many people, it can be the “get moving” activity discussed
above. But it could also be taking a nap, or a bath, or reading, or
having sex (which can also be considered a “get moving” activity if you
do it for longer than 5 minutes). Other people are calmed by housework
or yard work. Some people like to meditate, or take a nature walk. Find
your calming activity and try to do it each day.
6. Simplify your finances.
Finances can be a drain on
your energy and a major stressor. If that’s true with you, figure out
ways to simplify things. Automate savings and bill payments and debt
payments. Spend less by going shopping (at malls or online) much less.
Find ways to have fun that don’t involve spending money.
7. Have a blast!
Have fun each day, even if it’s just
for a few minutes. I like to play with my kids — they take my mind off
everything and are really hilarious. I also like to play sports (again,
often with my kids). Board games are fun. Sex, again, can be a fun
activity. Whatever you choose, be sure to laugh.
8. Get creative.
Throwing yourself into a creative
activity is another great way to de-stress and to prevent stress. I like
writing, but others like to paint or play music or sketch or make
pottery or do interior design or build things.
This is a favorite of mine. I like to
take 20-30 minutes and just go through a room, getting rid of stuff we
don’t use or need anymore. I look around at anything that’s cluttering
up a room, and get rid of it or find a better place for it. When I’m
done, I have a nice, peaceful environment for work, play, and living. Do
this a little at a time — it can be one of your “fun activities.”
10. Be early.
I will admit that it’s hard to be early
when you have to get 6 kids ready (seriously — try it!). But being late
can be very stressful. Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or
by scheduling more space between events. Things always take longer than
normal, so schedule some buffer time: extra time to get ready, to
commute, to do errands before you need to be somewhere, to attend a
meeting before another scheduled appointment. If you get somewhere
early, it’s good to have some reading material.
A low stress lifestyle is ours for the taking, as long as we allow
ourselves to simplify our everyday lives. Please take a moment to
meander through this page and the rest of Know-Stress-Zone.com.
You'll find many ideas for increasing productivity, laughing more,
cultivating a low stress lifestyle, and feeling better all around.