Stress. We all suffer from it. We all soak angrily in bubble baths because of it. Why don't we know how to get rid of it? This won't be some airy-fairy-pop-a-facemask-on quick fix kind of How-to. We are gonna get all Dr. Phil on it's premature-age-causing ass!
A lot of stress can come down to comparing yourself to others; you feel inadequate with your workload or your skills or even your appearance compared to others. Or the fear of the unknown: anxiety creates a lot of stress too.
It doesn't matter how big or how small the source is, it's still creating unnecessary stress and that's not okay. So don't let others tell you "you're stressing out over nothing!".
Be mindful. Think about why your comparing yourself to other people or why you're worrying about events that haven't happened. The thought itself is stressful! If you catch yourself thinking "I can't" or "I should/shouldn't be" then actively try to put a halt to that thought and replace it with a positive: "I choose not to get stressed about...."
Identify your triggers. It could be particular work projects, guests, people or events? Once you have identified it you can move on a deal with it better. It may help to make a note of everytime you feel stressed and why. Then you can really pinpoint it.
Create a cushion. Once you have identified your trigger you can create a tactical cushion to help you cope. Your going to cope by allowing yourself ample amount of time with the problematic trigger with as little to no other minor stresses. For example, you have a deadline to meet. By dealing with all other chores or meeting either before you need to start your deadline or doing them afterwards you are allowing for optimum headspace to cope with the "Big Stress".
Breathe! If you'r in a stressful situation or your trigger is floating around and bothering you then just take a moment and breathe. Sometimes I find it helps to leave the room all together and find a quiet spot like the bathroom or outside. While you're breathing, think about what's causing you to get so worked up. Are you setting too high an expectation for yourself? Is the workload too much for you right now? You're not accepting defeat by deciding you need to take it down a notch, you're simply working within your omptimum range right now. Don't be unrealistic with what you can do.
Get your priorities straight. Firstly, you should be your number one priority. If you aren't healthy and happy then you need to re-prioritize. Secondly, let go of anything that doesn't make your top 3 (you being number one of course). Make a list of your smaller priorities and decide to work on them at a later date when your free. Can't get the laundry done beause you have work to finish tonight? Do the laundry tomorrow or on the weekend.
Take care and love yourself. Now here's where I get all airy-fairy-facemask on you! Book time into your busy schedule for some Me Time. For an hour or even a day, just switch off from all other stresses and make it all about you. Do what you love and treat yourself. Also, don't forget to take care of your daily basics such as a good night's sleep, pleanty of water, some fresh air, a quick walk etc. Taking care of yourself in the little day-to-day tasks keeps you healthy and mentally sound. These basics should never be skrimped on. They are a priority.
Why are you stressing? I know we looked at the triggers and created a cushion but now it's time to look at the bigger picture. Cut down on your workload if its too much, delegate your time better, ask for help, be more assertive. Stress won't stop until you make it. It's okay to ask for help or take on a little less work than you normally do. When your back at 100% you can get back on the horse and make a really good fresh start without getting stressed out.
Are you actually ready to stop being stressed?
Quite often we're not. We like to have something to complain about and encourage others to sympathise with you. But until you declare it to yourself that you no longer want to be stressed out, then you won't actively change the situation. When you decide this is what you want to happen even your subconcious starts to make a good go at changing your situation.
This is a great method for changing the stressful situations in your life. Bur more often than not you need something to help you get through that crap situation. Here are my favourite de-stressing breaks I like to take if I need them: (BONUS: Take them as often as you need, there ain't no shame!)
- Go for a 10 minute walk to clear your head an get some fresh air.
- Deep breathing, count to ten. Breathe in deeply on the 1, out slowly on the 2 all the way until 10. Repeat.
- Visualise your stress as snow or water or leaves, melting, flowing, drifting away. Try some of the videos on YouTube.
- Have mindful snack full of good fats and proteins. Sugar highs and lows will only iritate you further.
- Step away from the screens. Unplug and unwind for a little offline downtime.
- Put on some music and have a sing, a cry or a dance. Just enjoy the moment!
- Call your friend and have a laugh and a catch-up.
I really hope this post was useful to you in some way or another. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to comment down below. Or if you prefer a more private outreach You can email me using the Contact Form or directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't feel alone if your going through a tough patch! Share with me some of your own favourite destressing techniques too, I'd love to hear them.
I'm off for a swim to de-stress from a busy day of work! Enjoy the rest of your day.