Part 3 of 3 (part 2 can be found here)
Stress is very personal, and so are the things in your life that create your stress. First, identify what “stresses you out” and make a management plan that works for you and your family. Begin with your “To Do” list.
- When your “To Do” list becomes overwhelming, the stress it causes seems unbearable. You need to get that list down to a manageable size and here’s how to do that:
1. Write down everything you need to get done on List #1.
2. Divide a 2nd sheet of paper into three categories:
- Critical – These items must be completed immediately because people or deadlines are depending on them. Some tasks that create conflict or are emotionally difficult to do should be placed here too.
- Important – These tasks are not as immediate as critical, yet still urgent.
- Postpone/Delegate – This category is a true stress reliever because it lets you delegate tasks. These tasks can slide for a bit while you tend to those on the critical list. Is it a task you can hand off to someone else? That takes it from your plate and may even work into another’s specialty area.
3. Now, return to list #1 and go through each item one at a time. Honestly determine where to place each task on your category list. You should have a new priority list that is fairly evenly divided among the three categories. This is more manageable.
4. Begin to tackle your tasks with the list under “Critical.”
- Try to set a few specific times during the day when you’ll respond to email.
- At the start of each week, review what needs to be done so you have a good idea of what’s coming up.
You’ll find extra time in your day if you organize areas of your life to enable you to function more efficiently. [Read more…]
You don’t have to look very far to find research that supports that stress leads to serious health problems on down the line – blocked arteries, heart attacks, strokes and even mental health issues. Reality says that there is no way you can avoid stress, so let’s manage it.
Stress and Exercise – Get Moving!
Exercise increases stamina, helps you keep your weight under control, lowers blood pressure and the physical signs of stress like skin problems and wrinkles.
You might be thinking that there is no way you have time during the day to exercise. I bet you could find time if you try something listed below.
- When at work, get up and walk around and/or stretch for two-three minutes every hour.
- Designate time to work out for a few minutes at least 4 times per week.
- Try to get outside for exercise as often as you can. Healthy minimal sun exposure – with appropriate sunscreen naturally increases your body’s levels of Vitamin D.
Stress and Sleep
Good sleep habits are a key to stress management. Sleep deprivation shortens your reaction times in critical situations and increases the effects that stressors have on your normal behavior. Your goal should be to get 6 – 8 hours of sleep every night.
- Refrain from alcohol and caffeine before going to bed.
- Keep your bedroom cooler.
- Don’t underestimate the value that a power nap can have. They’re not just for the kids! Even 15 minutes during the day can increase your productivity.
- A relaxing bath with lavender or vanilla scent prepares you for sleep.
- Writing in a journal before bedtime can get nagging thoughts out of your head before trying to sleep. [Read more…]
A young lady confidently walked around the room while leading and explaining stress management to an audience. She raised a glass of water, and everyone knew she was going to ask the ultimate question, ‘half empty or half full?’ She fooled them all. “How heavy is this glass of water”, she inquired with a smile?
Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, that’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my right arm. If I hold it for a day, you’ll have to call an ambulance. In each case it’s the same weight, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”