10 Tips for Managing Stress
With today’s hectic lifestyles, it’s easy to get stressed out. Sometimes you might feel like it’s never ending with work, the kids, or whatever else gets thrown at you.
Before you get stressed out about your stress, here are 10 ways to help you minimize it.
1. Do something fun: Take time to do something you enjoy. It can be going for a walk, visiting family or friends, reading, listening to music, seeing a movie, or visiting a place you’ve always wanted to see.
2. Write: Get in the habit of journaling or jotting down notes about how you’re feeling. Writing about what’s bothering you can help get it out of your system.
3. Get enough sleep: If you’re not sleeping well, you’ll have less energy and be unable to cope with stress. And don’t nap. It only interferes with your sleep later on. Be sure to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, including the weekends.
4. Exercise: Don’t do heavy exercise or other strenuous activities right before bedtime.
5. Think happy thoughts and see them daily: Use brightly colored sticky notes and post them on your refrigerator or the bathroom mirror.
6. Meditate: Sit in a chair or lie down on the floor. You can prop your legs up on the sofa as you’re lying there and relax. Concentrate on your breathing. Put a hand on your tummy, and feel it rise and fall. Inhale deep breaths, and exhale slowly. Recite: A mantra like the word “om” (oh-mmm), or a phrase like “I feel at peace”, or “I will have a good day.” or any word/phrase you choose that helps you relax. Slowly repeat your mantra. Try to meditate for 5 to 15 minutes. Any time of the day works.
7. Exercise: Exercise lowers your stress hormones. It also increases your endorphins, the happy hormones. Go for a walk, run, swim, dancing (even if it’s at home to some funky music), or try yoga, tai chi, ai chi (tai chi in water), or Pilates.
8. Watch your diet: Avoid caffeine, especially in the hours before going to bed. Get away from junk food, refined sugar and alcohol. All of these are low in nutritional value and you‘ll feel out of energy.
9. Delegate: Don’t go it alone. Expect stress to take a hold if you’re doing too many things. Whether it’s at work or home, have others—work team members or the kids at home—contribute and do their share.
10. Talk: Sometimes it helps if you can off-load your thoughts to someone. Talk to a friend or family member. Or talk to your doctor or arrange to see a therapist for some talk therapy.
You don’t have to take stress in stride. Take a little time to try these tips, and you’ll be on the road to feeling better.