Life in 2018 is frantic – so much stress! We are all in a hurry to get somewhere, do something, be someone. But at what cost? How do we go about managing stress in today’s busy world?
Feeling under pressure is often a permanent state for many women. From the business woman with the fabulous career to the stay at home Mum who has devoted her present to looking after her children. None of us is safe from feeling stress.
But the great news is that there are things you can do that will increase your ability to cope. Practical solutions that help you re-focus, manage your stress and help you regain control of your life, health and wellbeing.
Here are ten things you can do to kick your stress to the kerb and move on.
Stress Busting Tip One
There are very few things that cause us to feel stressed that we can’t see on the horizon. Okay, there’s always the unexpected event or request from someone you just can’t say no to. But most of the time, we know that a period of pressure is looming.
So the first top tip is to anticipate. Start to pay attention to what is coming up over the next week or month. Identify the pressure points before they arrive and that way you can be ready for them.
This is sometimes easier with work-related pressure but it is just as applicable to personal stress too. If you know that there is a difficult family event or a wedding or a school performance that you have to make a costume for….make sure you give yourself the opportunity to become aware of it in good time to get yourself strong for it.
Stress Busting Tip Two
My next top tip is to avoid multi-tasking. This may feel like a sensible thing to do and a great way to maximise your time. But in reality you are probably spreading yourself too thinly and making small mistakes or cutting corners.
Instead, tackle one thing at a time. Maybe even break things down and do them bit by bit, in any order you want. But don’t try and do two things at once because it could end costing you more time and stress in the long run.
Stress Busting Tip Three
Tip number three is to be flexible, open, ready to review and regroup. Very few things go according to plan. When you are feeling pressure or stress, any wrinkle or disruption can be catastrophic to your sense of control and balance. Instead, be open to things changing. Keep your mind focussed on the end result. But be open-minded about the route you might need to take in order to get there.
Stress Busting Tip Four
At number four, is a personal favourite of mine – the importance of breathing deeply. When things start to get on top of you, stop for a moment and take a long, deep breath. Ideally, breathe in through your nose to the count of seven, and out through your mouth to the count of eleven.
Obviously if you are at work, this may not feel professional so perhaps keep the breathing a little more low key! But the important thing is to fill your lungs with air as deeply as you can and exhale slowly. This allows oxygen to flood your body and will make you feel calmer and less stressed.
Stress Busting Tip Five
Tip number five is a question for you to ask yourself….”Will this matter tomorrow, next month, next year?”. Invariably, the answer will be No to at least one of those timeframes and often, all of them. This is about looking at the bigger picture. What feels like it is the most important thing in the world today, may not be important at all next month. Think about it.
Stress Busting Tip Six
At six, is the one that you will probably immediately dismiss by virtue of the fact that you feel you are so busy. But hear me out. Exercise – see, I told you it was something you would think was impossible to fit in! Exercise is one of the very best ways to keep on top of your stress levels. It creates a healthy balance of hormones in your body. Exercise releases endorphins and these will help to control the adrenaline that your stress creates (extremely simplistic explanation there – I am no biologist). Even a brisk walk around the local park at lunchtime is better than nothing. Try it and see what I mean.
Stress Busting Tip Seven
Tip seven follows tip six very neatly – Get some rest! Our bodies need sleep in order to repair and rejuvenate. Sleep is a vital but much underrated aspect of managing stress.
Many people struggle to sleep when they are under pressure and this is one of the great ironies of life. But there are ways that you can help yourself relax. I would suggest that an app for your phone that helps you meditate to relax, or simply making time to relax and switch off in whatever way suits you best an hour before you retire would be time well spent if it helps you get a good night of sleep.
Stress Busting Tip Eight
At eight, we have awareness – in other words know your stress signs! There are usually some pretty big clues that our stress levels are creeping up. Personally, I get snappy and sarcastic with the people I love (I know, lucky them!). Sometimes I get tearful and I have a strong tendency to eat more bad food when my stress levels are on the rise. You will have clues in your behaviour too so look for them and label them. You can then use them as red flags to put in place your stress management strategy.
Stress Busting Tip Nine
Tip number nine is all about something called “Breaking state”. Breaking State is a fancy way of saying you should do something different, to remove yourself from the thing that is troubling you. In the context of something as wide ranging as a sense of stress or pressure, the possibilities for breaking state are endless.
Consider taking a moment to gather your thoughts in a meeting. Count to ten in your mind and distract yourself from your own stress. Apply the 7/11 breathing technique (as described in tip four). Or if you are able to be a little more creative – go out for a walk, go to the kitchen and make a cup of tea. This is fundamentally about doing something to distract yourself from the stressor. And it works.
Stress Busting Tip Ten
And finally, tip ten is to seek support. Not every type of stress can be managed alone. And of course, a persistent and high level of stress or pressure can be very hard to manage alone, and very damaging to your health.
There is support available for you if you need it. It can take the form of family, friends, employers and of course, coaches just like me. Often just being able to talk about what is causing you to feel stressed is enough to set you on the right path. Family and friends are a great choice for that.
You may feel that perhaps things need a little more structure, techniques and a strategy to move forward. In this case a coach is definitely the right choice.
Most coaches will offer a free consultation meeting to discuss what they can do for you and allow you the chance to meet them. If you are feeling like you could use some help to get your stress under control and develop some strategies to keep it at bay going forward – reach out, either to me or another coach that you feel is the right choice for you.
There truly is no reason to suffer alone, and there are people who can help you to take the control back. Get in touch today if you would like to find out how LifeRedesign can help you.