It sometimes feels like life is full of unavoidable stress, from work to family to social obligations. But is all stress necessarily equal, and can we learn to keep our stress levels in check? With these 10 stress management tips to prevent and relieve stress, you’ll find ways to do just that and free up time to do the things you really enjoy.
#1: Accept some things are out of your control
As much as we want to be in control of all aspects of our lives, certain things are simply beyond our reach. Can you change the weather or make sure there’s no traffic during your morning commute? Definitely not! So, acknowledging that you are only human and that some things are just the way they are is an excellent first step towards effective stress management.
#2: Learn to say “no”
Knowing our limitations and not taking on more than we can chew is an important step in stress control. Saying “no” can take a while to get used to, but you don’t have to feel bad about turning some things down. And remember, you don’t have to explain the reason why. Nobody expects the world of you, and others will understand you’ve probably got a lot on your plate.
#3: Keep to-do lists
If you’ve already cut back on your commitments but still find yourself getting stressed out, don’t worry. There are techniques to restore calm. To-do lists are a great way of keeping track of your schedule and setting priorities. For me, scratching off each item on the list as I go gives me a real sense of satisfaction and the proof I need that things are actually getting done!
#4: Write a journal
Did you keep a diary as a little girl? You didn’t realize it then but releasing all your worries onto the page can feel like a weight lifting off your shoulders. In reflection, you’ll see things in a different light and gain some clarity. Maybe the situation wasn’t as bad as you initially thought, or perhaps the solution was right there under your nose all along. Putting pen to paper can help you feel grounded in the digital age of information overload. Maybe it’s time to get back to basics, take out the notebook and pen and write like your younger self.
#5: Reach out to friends and family
If writing your feelings down is not for you, then talking with a friend or family member can offer the same release. Remember the old saying – a problem shared is a problem halved. So, spending time with a cherished one might be the welcome timeout you need to decompress and switch off from the drudgery of daily life. And besides, enjoying a good laugh with a friend is always a welcome balm for the soul.
#6: Relaxation techniques
Deep breathing, meditation, yoga are all time-honored relaxation techniques that help you focus your attention on your body and reset the order of your mind. Sure, this can be a challenge starting out. Luckily, helpful apps, such as “HeadSpace”, “Peloton” and “Breathe,” can help you on the journey to your inner Zen.
#7: Get enough sleep
From a busy schedule to feeling stressed, a full night’s sleep is often a luxury many of us can only dream of. But getting enough sleep is a must if you are to recharge and face the challenges tomorrow will bring. Establishing a regular sleep routine will help prepare your mind to slow down. And it’s okay to leave some things undone. The laundry will still be there in the morning.
#8: Exercise regularly
As with sleep, finding time to exercise can be a challenge. Of course, exercise comes in many forms. Just find what works best for you. Going for a walk with a co-worker at lunchtime or alone in the evening once the children have gone to bed is a great chance to move, enjoy a change of scenery, and get some welcome fresh air.
Take a look at the blog post Stress-Busting Workouts You Can Do at Home for exercises to add to your workout routine.
#9: Maintain a healthy eating plan
With so many fad diets out there, it’s hard to know what to eat and when, but maintaining a healthy diet is an essential part of keeping your mind and body strong. And if coming up with recipes seems like a strain, never fear. There is a world of culinary inspiration waiting for you online.
#10: Stress relief products
If you are up for trying out the latest gadgets, there’s no shortage of stress relief products on the market you can turn to for relief. From weighted blankets to acupressure mats, there is sure to be a product out there that suits your needs.
Where to go from here
Even though stress is an unavoidable fact of life for most busy women, we don’t have to let it control our lives. Start by picking one or two of these tips to try and set realistic goals for yourself – the last thing you need in your life is more stress! Implementing just some of these techniques will let you breathe more easily and regain your much-needed sense of calm.
While these tips are generally advisable for dealing with everyday stress, make sure to seek professional advice in cases of acute stress or anxiety.
Have you already tried managing your stress with these techniques? Share what’s worked for you in the comments.