Stress kills. We’ve all heard it a million times! And while managing our stress is something we know we need to do for a healthier and happier life, we never get around to doing it because, well, we’re too darn stressed!
However, managing stress doesn’t have to be something to get stressed about! Here are some straightforward behavioral changes that you can make that can bring about immediate stress relief and that can be initiated fairly easily and don’t require a lot of time or commitment to incorporate into your day.
We go about our days at a breakneck speed, hurriedly rushing from one task to the next. Even our weekends can be so scheduled that we feel like we work seven days a week! Instead, try spending one day a week in which you do everything at a leisurely pace, and see how delicious it feels when you slow down long enough to “smell the roses” Be mindful, be spontaneous, be loving, be playful, be joyful!
No one likes being late for work, meetings or even social engagements, yet we’re invariably late because we don’t factor in the extra time for heavy traffic or other delays. Yet, when you plan ahead, aiming to arrive early, not only are you allowing for these unforeseen inconveniences, but your travel time becomes infinitely less stressful, arriving at your destination feeling fresh and with time to spare!
Create a morning routine
Getting up each morning with only enough time to shower, get dressed and grab a cup of coffee as you rush out the door is almost certainly a guarantee to begin your day feeling stressed. Get out of this rut by creating a morning routine that starts your day off on a positive note. It might require getting up an hour earlier than you’re used to, but allows more time for easing into your day peacefully. What’s more, a good morning starts the night before: choose your outfit for the next day, pack your lunch and other tasks you can do before bed so you morning isn’t so hectic!
Go to sleep earlier and don’t watch the news!
If you are getting up earlier to start your day off right, you’ll need to compensate on the front end by getting to bed earlier. A lack of sleep increases stress and is detrimental to your health in the long run. Also avoid watching the late night news. It is full of reports that are catch your attention by making you feel anxious about your safety, your finances, or the state of the world in general. This is not conducive of restfulness and sleep. Instead, turn off the television and read something inspirational, or journal about the things you are grateful for. You’re likely sleep easier for it!
Disorder certainly doesn’t do much for your stress levels! Always losing things, working from a cluttered desk and feeling bad about your messy house is likely to take it’s toll on your sanity! Instead of fretting about it, spend at least one day a month getting your life organized. Tossing out items that don’t have any use or are broken can feel cleansing and make your space feel calmer and more efficient. Create designated places for items so they don’t get lost and always put them back after using them!
Remember, all change begins with awareness that something in your life isn’t working. When you arrive at this awareness, start small in creating your new habit, adding one new habit at a time, practicing it for weeks, or months, before adding new layers of change. That way, you’ll be guaranteed success! Your new habit will feel like second nature and you’ll be less tempted to return to your old ways!