>10 tips on how to deal with STRESS

Posted: April 15, 2008 in Columns, Uncategorized

>(From Cache Chronicle)

The kids are fighting over the remote control while the baby pulls over a glass on the coffee table, spilling orange juice into your laptop. Simultaneously, the dog deposits the remains of his lunch on the carpet by the front door as the phone rings and your mother chides you for not visiting in over a month. You’re late for work and you’ve hit ignore on your cell phone three times since the alarm went off this morning. Add to this that you’re an hour late for work, there’s no gas in your car, and you have a meeting first thing for which you haven’t begun to prepare.

Our worlds have become increasingly fast paced, and all of this frenetic activity means one thing: STRESS. How can we relieve some of this stress and avoid the inevitable nervous breakdown? Try a few of these tips.

1. Exercise. I know you are thinking, “Where will I find the time?” You don’t have to run a marathon, just add a little more activity to your life. Take a walk on your lunch break, use the stairs instead of the elevator, or motivate the whole family to take a walk after dinner. Shoot some hoops with the kids. Stress is released from the body from physical exertion.

2. Eat better. Switching from a donut to oatmeal for breakfast will trim your waistline and make you feel better about yourself. It will also help to fuel you up for the day. If you’re more energized to tackle the tasks at hand, you won’t feel as stressed.

3. Write it out. Not everyone is a writer, but anyone can journal their feelings onto a piece of paper, into a word document on their laptop, or even on a Blog. Getting out the feelings of frustration in written form has a cathartic affect on the mind.

4. Cut back on the stimulants. Yes, many of us cannot function without that morning cup of coffee. But are two or three cups really necessary? If you’re too wired up, it can affect your stress levels, and it isn’t healthy either. Drink less coffee and soda.

5. Drink in moderation. It may seem like a beer at the end of the day can relax us and relieve a little stress, but drinking every day and drinking more than one or two drinks at a time isn’t healthy, and isn’t really relieving stress as much as it’s masking it.

6. Practice relaxation techniques. If your body is relaxed, it isn’t feeling the effects of stress. Try meditation, yoga, relaxed breathing techniques, or other methods to slow down for a few minutes each day and get in touch with your self.

7. Manage your time better. Use a planner, Microsoft Outlook’s calendar, your smart phone or personal digital assistant to organize your day more efficiently. The more orderly your life is, the less stressed you’ll be, and you’ll also be less apt to schedule multiple commitments at the same time.

8. Make lists. Make a list for yourself on your phone, computer, or paper of what you need to do, and you won’t feel so overwhelmed. Tackle one task at a time and mark them off when they’re completed. It’s a satisfying feeling to eliminate each job from the list.

9. Do something you enjoy, even if only for few minutes each day. Garden, do a Sudoku puzzle, swing the golf club, or walk the dog. Life is short. You have to leave some time for fun. If you have something fun to look forward to each day, all of that hard work will seem more worth it.

10. Learn to say no. Having too many commitments is the reason why we feel stressed. There just isn’t enough time in the day to do everything. You don’t have to volunteer for every work assignment, every school committee, and to coach all of the kids’ sports. Pick a few of these and do them well. Relax and let someone else volunteer for the rest of those positions. You don’t have to save the whole world all by yourself.

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