1. What’s Important?
Okay, we all lead busy lives and despite our character traits, our dominant brain hemisphere’s and our varying ability to handle pressure, we ALL suffer stress in some form or other at different times. If you feel as though you are becoming overwhelmed from a work perspective – STOP! No, we don’t expect you to down tools and walk out – just stop for a little while when you can, and take some time to prioritize your workload. What is really important? What needs doing first, second, third? Get into a habit each afternoon before leaving your workplace to run through the jobs of the day and what needs to be done on the morrow. These become your Urgent To Do’s for the next morning. When the big jobs that cause you stress with the worry over them are attended to, you will feel SO much better and able to tackle what is waiting. Oh, and you can learn to say ‘NO’ too, it does help sometimes and you are helping yourself by doing so – but pick your moments, the Boss may not appreciate it!
2. Relax & Rejuvenate to Get Your Jollies!
The best way to beat stress is to have fun. Laugh! Get out and distract your mind – unwind, let go of the daily worries and be kind to yourself. Dust off the golf clubs, spoil the family, rediscover those hobbies that used to give you so much pleasure, fill that bathtub with bubbles or simply light a candle and meditate. Anything to give your mind a distraction – a break from the worry – because once your attention is caught by something that pleases you, you will find that there is no chance to brood and the problems are forgotten for a time as your body relaxes. If you work too much, if you don’t allow yourself regular breaks (massages, forest walks, board games with the children) then the Stress will Bust YOU, rather than the other way around. You will work far more efficiently and productively after some relaxing time-out, than you will living off adrenaline and worry. Sit – sleep – catch a movie – eat chocolate – hug your partner and enjoy life. You’ll enjoy work much more, if you do! Make sure your diary has specific times put aside for YOU to PLAY!
3. Communication & Sharing – Let it OUT!
Communication is the key to getting things off your chest and relieving stress. If there is a problem, seek out an answer via communicating, don’t just bury it away inside and churn endlessly over it. Talk to your partner or friends – don’t bore them to tears – but do share your concerns if you are stressed and unburden yourself. They might not be able to help, but sharing the problem and hearing yourself talk about it, can sometimes provide a solution.
And if you are not comfortable sharing it with others, then consider journaling as an option for clearing a cluttered mind of worries or concerns. It really does help to write it down and get it out, whether or not you ultimately act on it or not, part of the de-stress is simply in the act of unburdening in some way – and writing is as good as any.
4. Flora & Fauna – Mother Nature’s Pills
Despite our civilized exteriors, our love of gadgets and all portable devices preceded by a small ‘i’, our intricate brains and love of junk food and synthetic materials, we are still, at our core, animals – mammals to be precise. We need to connect with nature on some level. Admittedly some more than others (Paris Hilton v Bear Grylls) – but ultimately, whether it’s a morning meditation watching the sun rise (whilst fighting the breakfast pangs), a stroll through a quiet forest (don’t forget insect repellent for optimum enjoyment), time spent gardening (and avoiding green ant bites) or simply tossing a ball for the family dog (and being careful to avoid the drool), we need time out to connect with the world around us and bring a little perspective back. All work and no play makes Jack rather terribly stressed – forget simply ‘dull’. Take the power back over your Stress!
Get sorted, get organised, get talking, get relaxed, get happy, get laughing and get OUT into your life. And then go back and tackle the workload from a much stronger position mentally and physically – and Bust That Stress!