How to manage stress like a pro

Managing stress well makes for more you time. Image by Shutterstock.

Eat, sleep, work repeat… Sound familiar? Let’s face it, life is stressful, stress affects each and every one of us, whether we’re a working nine to fiver, a stay at home parent or studying at school. Think of stress as a game of dodgeball, the stress balls are hitting you left right and centre and you’re trying your best to dodge them but sometimes you’re just going to get hit. So the best way to protect yourself from those stress balls is to learn a good defence. Realising what causes your stress and finding strategies to cope with it is vital to surviving. So here is a list of handy tips to think about when stress is getting the better of you.

Plan for the week ahead
Planning can be one of the best preventative methods for managing your stress. Try taking some time out on a Sunday evening and mapping out what your next week is going to look like. Plan ahead for things and make sure you’ve scheduled enough time in each day to achieve them. If you’ve got too much on your plate then eliminate the less important tasks. It’s all about prioritising and remember, you can do your best but sometimes you just can’t do everything and that’s OK.

Give yourself credit when you can
This is an important aspect of self-love and managing your stress, give your self credit when you can. Life is a struggle and we’re expected to juggle so many different things all at once while looking great and with a smile on our faces. Sometimes, it’s OK to not be OK and more importantly, give yourself credit for all that you do. Break your time down and look at the small accomplishments you’ve achieved. Did you make your bed this morning? Accomplishment. Did you meet that deadline at work? Accomplishment. Give yourself credit where credit is due.

Create a list
The good old list. You’d be surprised at how much writing a list can relieve your stress. This is also a good technique for people who suffer from insomnia and not being able to turn their brains off at night before sleep. Get up and move out of your room, get a pen and paper and write a list of whatever it is that is bothering you or whatever it is that need to do. If you break it down on to paper you can then prioritise and gradually tick tasks off the list, that way you’ve got a clear map of exactly what it is you need to accomplish written down in front of you instead of simmering around in your brain.

Choose optimism
Choose optimism and have a better outlook on life. You are in control of yourself and when you wake up in the morning if you mentally decide that you are going to have a good day then you tend to manifest good things. Do you ever notice that a bad day usually starts with one bad thing happening that is the catalyst, then more bad things start to happen and the whole day just snowballs into one massive bad experience? Well, generally when people are in a bad mood, they make mistakes, overlook things and become clumsy because they’re moving too fast and they’re in a negative frame of mind so things tend to keep going wrong. Try to be mindful about your frame of mind, stop, take a breath and remember this is a bad day, not a bad life.

Put your phone away
I think we have forgotten to just be. We are constantly bustling around, looking at our phones and forgetting to interact with the world around us. Things like social media can have a negative impact on your frame of mind and using your phone constantly is overstimulating for your brain and when you’re already stressed and thinking about a million and one things, sometimes your brain just needs a break. So put your phone away and just be still, even just for a couple of minutes.

Prioritise YOU time
This is one of the most important aspects of looking after yourself and managing your stress, make time in your week to do things that make you happy. Small tasks that bring about joy for you such as lighting a candle, taking a walk or listening to music can make all the difference. Even if you just set yourself half an hour a day or a few hours a week to prioritise time for yourself you won’t feel so much like your days are filled with demand, life should be about balance, so try and find yours.

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