We all would like to have less stress in our lives. It is good to stop and reflect on how our lives would improve if we had less stress. Make a list of the reasons for wanting less stress. This list will be what motivates us to actually implement some changes and take action to reduce stress and to cope better with it.
For example, when I have less stress, I will have more energy. With more energy, I will:-
* spend more time playing with the kids
* improve efficiencies at work
* get tasks completed around the house
* enjoy sport on the weekend more...
and the list goes on...
Or, as another example, when I have less stress, I improve my overall health and wellbeing. With improved health, I will:-
* improve my menstrual cycle for getting pregnant
* reduce my brain fog and improve my clarity of thinking and focus
* be more excited about life and take time to stay connected...and the list goes on...
The following tips are some of our strategies for managing stress:-
* Don't try to be perfect. Let go of perfectionism. Allow yourself to implement the '80:20' rule. Nobody is perfect. So ease up on yourself and ease up on your criticism of others.
* Recognise what stresses you. Stress is an individual thing. What you find stressful might not be considered as stressful for your partner or others. Can the cause of the stress be eliminated, modified or reduced by taking some action or having a change of response or change in attitude? If it is something you can't change, try not to let it stress you and let it go.
* Chose to have fun. Do things that make you laugh and doesn't cause harm to others. Ease up on being too competitive. Be the first to be friendly. And the first to forgive. Choose your battles wisely. Choose happiness. Focus on what you want.
* Manage your schedule. Can you tweak your schedule to improve things and reduce stress? Are you trying to do too many things at the same time? Is your task loading realistic? Do the essential tasks and prioritise the others. Are you putting off things that could simply be done now. Consider who is affected by your decisions. Find a technique, tool or app that works for you in managing your to do list and appointments.
* Eat a balanced diet. Consider increasing vegetables and fruits and reducing sugar, fats and gluten. Keep hydrated. Avoid foods the leave you feeling anxious and stressed.
* Maintain good health and fitness. Do something relaxing on a daily basis. Take time out to do something relaxing e.g. acupuncture, meditation, yoga, qi gong or massage. We often have client tell us how relaxing they find acupuncture. Get good sleep and enough rest - see our 7 Tips for Better Sleep blog. Do some exercise or movement each day as exercise is an effective way to manage stress and work off any anger you may have. De-clutter your environment and keep it clean. Minimise your exposure to toxins and maintain an environmentally friendly status.
* Take time out. Whether a small break or a holiday, it all counts towards managing your health and coping better with stress. Time out should also include "me time". Ideally factor a little of that in each day.
* Maintain good relationships. Staying connected with friends and family who you can talk with about the good stuff as well as supporting each other in stressful times. Being involved in the community and helping others can be an effective and satisfying stress reducer. And remember, good communication with your partners and others will help lower stress.
Looking at the above, I realise there are some things I let stress me when I could be choosing to have a better attitude and not let it stress me. For example, I let bad drivers on the road stress me out. I let them annoy and frustrate me. Why? Good question. I guess I am ultimately stressing that their bad driving will cause me to have an accident. So, does getting stressed out in this situation help me? No. Am I focusing on what I want? No. So what is within my control? I can choose to respond to bad drivers in a more positive way. After all, although I am a good driver, I am not perfect. I can have empathy for them and wish them safe travelling for the rest of their journey. And I can let it go quickly and focus on what I want - a safe and carefree drive.
Remember, where possible:-
* eliminate the stress
* reduce the stress
* implement strategies you know help you cope better
* accept things you can't change and don't let them stress you.
Enjoy May everyone!