Stress Management

Stress Management: How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress!

Does it ever feel like “the little things” overwhelm you? You go to your job or classes everyday, but the thought of tackling the laundry, doing paperwork, or sitting to the pay the bills is just too much, so you put them off. I know there are days when the thought of coming home, knowing I’ll be faced with dirty dishes, makes my blood boil (of course, my teenage children were supposed to clean up after themselves, but that’s another story). It’s kind of like being angry at a person in your life, but yelling at the dog instead; you might be overwhelmed by larger, more important things, but you focus on the little stuff that you can actually control.

One practical thing you can do for Stress Management is limit your “to do” list to only 10 things at a time. Make sure you actually cross them off as you complete them, and give yourself a little mental pat-on-the-back for having done them. Even more helpful, despite your busy schedule and “to-do” list, is to take time every day to find something beautiful or wonderful and really enjoy it. Pay attention when your spouse or child hugs you; really let it sink in. When your dog runs up to greet you, allow yourself to be infected with enthusiasm and joy. When your cat sits next to you and purrs, allow yourself to feel honored. If there are few people and no pets in your life, when you walk outside, feel the air, hear the birds; take a brief walk where there are trees or the by the ocean and really notice how beautiful these things are. Your stress level will come down, and the importance of your to-do list will accommodate and become it’s “right size”.

Sometimes we don’t allow ourselves to feel joy because we’re too busy, or too behind on our to-do lists, or we’ll do it later, when we have time. Do it now. Take the time today. Put it on your calendar if you must. Balance the stress of the things you must do with the joy of the things you want to do. Your stress level will come down.

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