10 Steps Toward Alleviating Stress
Do you find yourself feeling bogged down with work? Are you having a hard time managing your time? Are you feeling stressed? Does your IPhone dictate your day? There never seem to be enough hours in the day. There is healthy and unhealthy stress. Healthy stress is when you are exercising, but the unhealthy stress can be a silent killer if not addressed. Stress puts the body in a state of rushed and hurried feeling which is bad on the heart. But, know that there are ways to take care of yourself and to help alleviate the stress that you feel.
Scheduling your time: Most of the biggest stress is developed from a heavy workload. Scheduling accordingly and sticking to your listed addendum is very helpful. But, allowing yourself grace if you are not able to stick to the schedule. Do not be critical of yourself. We are all human and incidences arise such as children getting sick and events popping up. I think finding a “balance” in life may not be attainable, but learning to balance our emotions is. Do not allow anger and anxiety to get the best of you. Do not let a stressful moment turn into an entire stressful day.
Delegate: Sometimes taking on all the work seems noble and like a nice thing to do, but it can take your stress level to the max. You will not be able to produce the best work. If you are feeling stressed out at work, then ask for help. It does not make you incompetent; it makes you human. If you are in a supervisor or managerial role, then delegate tasks to your employees. Most people work well together and are team players, so take some of the stress off your heavy load.
Exercise: Exercising a few times a week can be the stress relief outlet that your body needs. Getting a good run in you may think “how in the world I will be able to incorporate exercise into my daily routine?” But, think about walking to get lunch, yoga during your fifteen minutes breaks at work, take a stroll around the office or stairs to get your morning coffee. Bringing an exercise video to work can give you a nice break. On the weekends, a morning hike can do wonders to your positive energy.
Meditation: Meditation can help lower your stress level significantly. Finding ten minutes in the morning or evening to give to you can be a lifesaver. Mediation will help you keep your emotions in balance. Keeping emotions in balance helps you stay connected to peaceful feelings and not become so frazzled. Meditation keeps the stress down and will keep you tranquil.
Evaluate diet: One of my bad habits is eating fast food and then feeling too full and bloated later. When I make the decision to eat unhealthy, my body feels the after effects of my choices. Making decisions to prepare meals in advance and choosing the salad over the fries. Making small choices can go a long way.
Keep a stress journal: I like to call it a “venting journal” because it gets every stressful thing out of your mind. This was an idea I got from a friend when I worked as a social worker. Let me tell you, it sure came in handy. I like the idea of knowing what I vent or state in anger is strictly confidential. I do not want everyone knowing what I say in a moment of anger. There are very few to be trusted with this sort of information, so I feel safe with venting to my journal.
Calm down routine: Having a routine of what you do when you get stressed. It could be going to the nail saloon to aromatherapy, or listen to relaxing music. I also like the idea of the stress balls because they are quite accommodating when you are at work. It is good to have something that is handy so you can use it in any situation. You can even go for a short walk or practice breathing exercises to calm down and get rid of your stress. It can be the smallest to the silliest thing; at least you are calming down.
Massage: Getting a massage can help you release unwanted toxins and rejuvenate your natural state of mind. Massages are designed to make you feel good and release the negative and draw in the positive. I have a friend who is skeptical about getting a massage, but I encouraged her to at least do reflexology, where they focus on certain spots on your feet to alleviate stress throughout the body. She tried it and absolutely loved it. Know that there are so many options nowadays that not trying something is no longer an option.
Confront and set boundaries: Have you ever had a problem and you keep thinking about it? You become angrier by the minute. Confronting issues head on is the best way to deal with a problem. Sometimes people tend to let the little problems of life become bigger than they actually are. Also, saying no. I have a counselor friend who works with a very demanding fast-paced counseling agency. She has over thirty individual clients and conducts three weekly groups. Her supervisor asked her if she would be interested in starting another group. My friend said she already felt overworked. The people pleaser deep down inside wanted to say yes, but she knew she could handle no more on her plate. So she kindly said no. She was scared that her supervisor was going to be upset with her, but she wasn’t. Her supervisor thanked her kindly and asked another counselor. Setting healthy boundaries brings about healthy results.
Use vacation time: If you are completely exhausted with your job, then it is necessary to take some time off even if you do nothing but stay at home, watch junk TV shows, and eat popcorn all day. Your body is craving rest and relaxation. And if you do not give it to your body, you will be faced with burnout in the field. Burnout is the leading cause of people leaving their jobs. In certain fields, burnout can range from between six months to a year. So that really is not a lot of time to let pass by without taking care of yourself. You may need to even have a day you take for mental health purposes. So use your vacation time; remember it is there for a reason.
Do self-care weekly: Giving yourself permission to taking quality time for yourself. It is not selfish. It is a necessity. Grab a drink, grab your man, and grab a dance floor. Find time to go out with friends. Hanging out with people you love that uplift you are valuable. Now make sure that you leave work at work. Do not let your inner critic come with you. Go to the aquarium or local art gallery by yourself. Self-care is a necessity. Especially if you are a parent or work at a job where you are a caregiver, you must do things you love as well or you will start to feel resentful. Take time to yourself because there is only one you and you deserve it.