Anxiety, nervousness, fear, worry, heaviness. It doesn’t matter what name you give it, we all suffer from it and know it as stress. Some deal with it on a daily basis, and some only occasionally, but we all have our moments. The question I get from almost every client is, “Can you show me how to get rid of stress?” [Enter here the visual of them staring at me with a hopeful, please help me, I’m drowning here stare.] You are probably wondering, “Can she actually help me get rid of stress?” The answer is no. No one can. However, I can help you manage stress. That is really what we need to focus on. So many us, I myself included, try to rid our lives of stress and than have major meltdowns when we can’t achieve that unachievable goal. You can’t control the stress of deadlines, rude people, crazy schedules, traffic jams, a loss, or even an ailing parent, but you can control how you react to those stressful situations. That is the key. Your reaction is what will help you turn a hopeless stressful situation, into a hopeful one.
“Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worse poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety and fear.”
I’m going to share with you 5 steps to help you manage stress. These 5 steps are not the only steps, but they are my most used and most helpful when managing stressful times.
Stop being a worrywart. You can’t control everything that happens, at every second of the day, and in everyone’s life. The only life you have control over is yours. How often do you worry so much about everyone else that you start to become stressed over something that isn’t even happening to you? Ask yourself, “Whose business am I really in?” Starting today, I want you to practice being empathetic to other people, but creating an invisible shield around yourself. Depending on what it is you are worrying about, say, “This is not about to me. This is not happening to me, or I will not worry about things I have no control over.”
Manage your schedule; don’t let your schedule manage you. Basically what I’m saying here is learn how to say no. How often have you said yes to something that you didn’t want to, and you already have a full schedule? If all you have is a 1-hour block and you are even filling that up, and feel overwhelmed, stop it. Not every task is urgent, not every event needs attending, and not every invitation needs to be accepted. You are allowed, guilt-free, to say no. If you feel like your schedule is managing you, go through it and see where there are things you can take out and reschedule. I had my own aha, stop overscheduling moment, when I read a book called Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Alice D. Domar. I recommend reading the entire book, but specifically for managing your schedule, go to Tame Your To-Do List. You can thank me for the recommendation later
Sweat the stress away. I know, the last thing you want to do during, or after a busy day is exercise, but honestly, it is the #1 stress reliever. When you workout, your body does a magical thing. It actually depletes stress hormones and these hormones are replaced with mood-enhancing (happy) chemicals. When we are happy, we manage stress so much better. Start adding a workout into your schedule. It is critical not only to your whole body health, but to your sanity.
Spend time with people who make you happy. Who do you know that makes you feel so amazing even after a 5-minute conversation, or can make you laugh until you cry? Spending time with people who make you feel happy is such a great way to manage stress. Remember how great you felt for hours after being with that person? The positive energy stays with you and you can just feel the stress melting away, saying to yourself, “What was I so worried about?” You can even ask those uplifting people to be your workout buddy – creating double the happy endorphins!
“Life is so much better when you are laughing”
Give yourself some alone time. Sometimes all we need is a relaxing, quiet 15-minutes alone. What is the #1 thing that relaxes you? Do that for at least 15-30 minutes every single day. Even if you have to schedule it into your calendar, do yourself a favor and allow yourself these little moments. I know what you are thinking, “I don’t have time for this.” My question to you is this; do you have time to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and worn out? When you take care of yourself, you are better equipped to take care of others, and your daily tasks. If you want to know what I do to relaxing, you can check it out here.
Sending you oodles of positivity, happiness & joy,
Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl