Managing the Stress
So, how can you avoid ‘burnout’ and the detrimental effects to your mental and physical health and well-being?
The first thing to do when we are under stress is to admit it and get to the root of the cause. Apart from the obvious solutions of a good diet and getting enough sleep and exercise, having rules or values that govern our lives eases decision-making and reduces the turmoil.
Here are 10 tips that might help you to manage the stress better:
1. Plan Ahead
Be prepared and get into the habit of planning your time; where you’ll be? what you’re doing? and are there breaks between appointments? Ideally, you should try to look two weeks ahead if you can. Strive for excellence not perfection.
2. Play to Your Strengths
Know what you are good at and take responsibility for things where you know you can make a difference. Delegate effectively the things that others could do just as well, and give over the whole task, so that they own it.
3. Take Control of Your Life
Accept full responsibility for everything you do in life, irrespective of others input.
4. Focus on the Solution, Not the Problem
Take charge of your thoughts and how you react to outside events. If you think negatively, you’ll approach the problem negatively; try and change your mindset so your questions are more positive. Also, take feedback constructively; appreciating the opportunity to learn from the experience.
5. Spoil Yourself
Try and make an effort to meet up with friends regularly and have some ‘me’ time.
6. Be Grateful
Take time in your day to write down five things you are thankful for.
7. Don’t be Afraid to Say ‘No’
If it’s going to be detrimental to your family, work or health, be prepared to have bold conversations that tactfully speak the truth and say ‘no’ to people.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Take a break and go for a walk. Deep breathe several times a day and bring yourself back to the present, so that it can be enjoyed and fully appreciated. Use all your senses to take in the moments.
9. Mind your Language
Speaking as a victim adds to the stress. Change negative words you use regularly to a positive. Say ‘blessed’ instead of ‘stressed’ or ‘challenge’ instead of ‘problem’.
10. Keep a Pen and Paper by your Bed
At night, when your head is about to explode due to endless mulling, don’t try to fight your way through, but write down what’s bothering you. Alternatively, before going to sleep, write a list of things you need to do the next day. This ensures your mind is clear and can take a rest for a few hours.
Whatever you choose to do, pushing things to the back of your mind, whilst continuing to firefight, just doesn’t work. What we resist will persist and in the long-term, this will cause great damage to the mind and the body. Taking stock as soon as possible is the kindest thing we can do to ourselves and our loved ones; procrastinating is not an option!