Managing Stress

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Managing Stress

At the end of your rope? Remember the song that had the lyric, “What good is what you’ve got if you’re not havin’ any fun?” Is your life fun or are you stressed and walking down the path to burnout? Our instant, throw-away society tends to get us caught up in a whirlwind of activity and before we realize it, stress builds and we find ourselves getting short tempered, snapping at coworkers, customers and family. Here are a few tips which may help you lighten some of the stress and avoid burnout- the feeling of just not caring. These ideas have worked for me, give them a try.

  • At the beginning of each day write or update a list of what you need to do. Prioritize the list in relation to your goals. I will only schedule a number of things I believe I will have time for during that day. You’ll never get everything done, so pick out the most important. This gives me a feeling of being more in control and I’m not overwhelmed.
  • Don’t over-schedule. Before agreeing to do something someone asks you to do, review your itinerary and make a conscious, not emotional, decision of whether you will take on the extra project. Learn to say “no.”
  • Don’t try to do it all yourself – get help – delegate. Learn to work smarter, not harder.
  • Get away from work. Enough is enough. When you go home – go home.
  • Figure out how to measure the progress you’re making on projects so you experience the feeling of success. Even a small success is progress to a goal.
  • Do something physical each day so that you can look back on what you have done days later and see what you’ve accomplished – like building a dog house or redecorating a room at home a little at a time.
  • Get away from work for lunch with a friend and don’t talk business.
  • Do something each week that you really enjoy doing.
  • Exercise – even if it is for only 15 minutes a day.
  • Learn how to cope with worrying. If you’re a worrier try these steps the next time you begin to worry about something. Answer these three questions.
    1) If what I am worrying about occurs, what is the worst that could happen?
    2) What would I do if the worst happened?
    3)Could I handle the answer to “B?” If you can’t handle the answer to “B,” you need to change “B” so you can handle it.

We bring the majority of negative stress on ourselves by overextending and not planning, and the mental anguish we put ourselves through is the result. Put spice in your life and once in awhile just sit back and do nothing. It’s OK!

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