Stress is a normal part of life. Still, like anything else, too much can be harmful to not only our mental faculties but also our physical health. We must not only reduce stress in our lives but bolster our wellness to weather the inevitable stresses.
The basics of bolstering wellness are to:
- Eat food that helps you feel good.
- Move and stretch your body daily.
- Adhere to a good sleep routine.
You must figure out how what works for your unique needs best in these areas of nutrition, exercise, and rest. When you do, that foundation will keep your body more robust and healthy.
Learning to let your mind free of stresses and worries is also an important stress buster. Meditation and quiet contemplation are two methods of reducing stress. If you’re not into meditation, spend a half-hour or so each night reading a good book in a comfortable chair or take up an enjoyable hobby. Anything that distracts you from the concerns of the day and allows you a chance to decompress can be a worthwhile activity.
Go for a walk in the park or get a pet. Get a dog and take the dog for a walk in the park. A walk outdoors in the fresh air can do wonders for reducing stress, as can a companion animal. It likely wouldn’t hurt to combine the two if you’re so inclined.
Play games. Card games. Board games. Video games. Whatever floats your boat. You could also try puzzles. Putting a jigsaw puzzle together may be an excellent way to decompress also. It’s hard to worry about work when you’re trying to find a matching piece! Or, do a crossword puzzle, word find, or sudoku.
If you’re artistic, you could paint, draw, or even just doodle. You could try needlecrafts, sand art, sculpture, wood carving, sewing, or whatever suits your interests.
Take time to listen to music or watch television. Take an evening and go out for dinner and a movie. See a play. Go to a sporting event.
The important thing is to take some time out for yourself. Find something that works for you, and remember to take time to do it. Relaxing and recharging is essential!
Practice Being Organized
Some stress is caused by situations beyond our control, making it all the more important to do what we can to reduce stress in the circumstances we can control.
One thing within our control is our level of organization. While it may seem to have little to do with stress levels on the face of it, a lack of organization will prove otherwise in a stressful situation.
If you’re under pressure to find an item in a stressful situation, imagine how much more stressed you become when you cannot locate it.
As you shuffle through papers, folders, and drawers, your frantic searching may cause further disorganization, setting the stage for a later repeat of the situation. If, instead, you can quickly locate what you need when you need it, your stress levels will be lower than they might otherwise be.
Naturally, the first step is to do a thorough cleaning, eliminate clutter, and organize everything needed.
- Make sure you organize everything in a manner that makes sense for you, using a system you will remember and stick with.
- Once you get organized, stay organized.
- Each day, set aside a few minutes to get your work area back in order.
Ideally and when practical, follow a pattern where you handle each item only once. For example, when you get a new document or piece of mail, read it and then act on it, file it, or recycle it. Eliminate the “I’ll do it later” items as much as possible. Too often, later never comes because of other more pressing needs. Additionally, you won’t suffer the stress of seeing a growing stack of “I’ll do it later” items sitting on your desk. You can better focus on the job at hand rather than being frustrated by the amount of work left to do.
Being better organized will not eliminate stress, but it can help keep it at reduced levels. Plus, it makes for a better and easier home and workplace, so there is no downside. Get organized and reap the benefits of increasing your productivity and reducing your stress level.
Remember to Breathe
Feeling a little stressed is a normal part of the working day, but when stress gets to be too much, it can affect your judgment causing you to make rash decisions. It can also affect you physically, causing tension in your muscles, increased heart rate, or aches and pains.
The key is to keep stress at a manageable level. One way to do this is with a simple breathing exercise.
- Sit still in a relaxed position with your back straight.
- Clear your mind as much as possible.
- Breathe in slowly, for a deep breath.
- Hold, but only as long as it is comfortable.
- Breathe out slowly.
- Breathe in.
- Breathe out.
Repeat often. Take a few seconds here and there. Use a simple breathing exercise regularly to help lower your stress level.