First things first. Don’t believe anyone who says that they’re living a totally stress-free life. It’s just not possible. Even the monks atop mountains deal with matters that pick their stress level. There’s always, and I mean always something that pokes all people of all ages and race, and cause them stress. I’m saying this first because you shouldn’t be freaking out that someone is living in heavenly calm while you’re rushing about with roles, responsibilities and the laundry has since piled up.
Now that we’ve settled that, let’s me get on to the second point. The stressors we get from time to time are often beyond our control. How we deal with it, on the other hand, is something that would liberate us from the ill effects of being stressed out.
I’ve summed up in this post all six positive, effective and easy ways to get daily stress busted. Read on to know how I live well even with stress!
1. Avoid procrastination. It’s one of life’s most vicious cycles. Procrastination is probably the most popular causes of stress, especially its results. You say I’ll do laundry later. Then that time comes only to discover its time to make dinner. Before it’s done, there’s a phone call and you spend 15 minutes chit-chatting, stopping only cuz the kids are home. Boom! Not good. Not good at all. So you rush about, impatient over repeated questions if dinner’s ready. See? You stress yourself with just one task put off for later.
The trick here is to do things on sked, on the dot. There might be other attractive things to do other than the laundry, paying bills or getting your PC defragged. But when the dirty clothes pile up, your utility gets disconnected or disrupts housekeeping routines or your PC just bogs down, then you learn. All in the name of procrastination, you get so much stress. So just do it. Do it now.
2. List ‘em down and give ‘em a positive turn. List down what usually causes worry, like driving on rush hours, people you must deal with or ironing clothes. List it ALL down. Then reconsider. Can they be improved to cause you less stress? Like why not drive on less busy hours? Or learn to smile when talking to unnerving clients or bank tellers. Then why not reschedule the ironing of clothes on hours. Or play some good music when you’re doing the chore.
The key here is to put a stop to all stress-causing factors by identification; then finding that specific positive action for each, turning around a bad situation to a positive one.
3. Know when to multi-task. Hey, you might be a superwoman in some areas like catching up with friends over the phone while nail filing. But at most times, multi-tasking doesn’t fare too good. Instead of getting things done, doing two or three tasks at the same time gets you nowhere near done. Plus, you’re really freaking out over those two or three tasks! Come on, get real!
Multi-tasking is when you load the washing machine and have your hands free to fold clothes or hang them for drying. It’s not baking cookies and getting to the other room to do data entry works. Multi-tasking is when you do the groceries, pay the bills on your way to school to pick the kids up. It’s not doing all three at the same hour! As I said, get real. Don’t stress yourself trying to complete the day’s work in three hours.
The key here is to schedule work accordingly. Find hours where it’s possible to complete one or two tasks chronologically. Find hours where you need to just work on one thing.
4. Simplify skeds and to do lists. Do you freak out because of long lists? Try checking your weekly schedule. Do the same with your daily listings of tasks. Most likely, you’ve choked the week or one single day with so many work to do. Now that’s what I call stressful complexities. And yes, I used to do the same.
At the end of the day or week, I felt like crying with physical wear and frustration. Then discovered that the next day was like, I only have two things to do! Golly! Why did I do that? So then I had to structure my schedules for the month and week. Distribution of tasks resulted to extra hours to stay healthy; it busted stress as well.
The key here is to get skeds simple to make it doable. As for the daily things to do, I only list down the important things. Why should I list make coffee, cook dinner and pick the kids up from school? I MUST do all that, don’t I? No sense making my to do list like a sales letter with so much words and very little meat!
5. Detoxify your life. Haha! It’s all over my face that excitement to talk about this. Because it encompasses our social circle, and deals with what we eat, what we read and what we buy and collect. Often, we like things to come in greater numbers. That starts the rise of stress levels.
Who needs plenty of friends? Just keep the company of those who really, really are worth keeping. Why spend more time with toxic people who love to gossip, always angry and bitter? They need help, not you. If they mean so much, then point out their flaws and express willingness to help. But set boundaries as well. If they’re not really that important, don’t spend more time with these toxic people than necessary.
Then stop buying all the things you don’t actually use or need! Why keep storing food like the third world war is coming next week? They get spoiled, they eat space in your house and it’s hard-earned money wasted. Then there’s clothes, shoes and bags. Do you really need three closets for all of them? Most likely not. Buy only what’s important. And clean your closet regularly to eliminate stuff you don’t need anymore. If not, you freak out which shirt to wear even for just going out to share a pot roast to your neighbor! Such stress!
The key here is to keep things simple, and avoid the toxic people, events and habits that cause anxiety fretfulness. It’s not worth it. Really. They just drain your energy, wane your interest and mess up schedules.
6. Clean, arrange and organize. No one likes the sight of years-old magazines when Molly Ringwald was still pretty in pink. Personally, I don’t like not finding the right knife when needed, or when the file I need to work on isn’t on the desktop. All these are too much stress because they eat up time, they create that frustrating mood that makes the next task more burdensome than necessary.
I’ve seen mastered cleaning up after every task. Or if I’m a little short of time, then before I head off to bed, I get back to my work station and get things cleaned and arranged. The kitchen must be orderly and ready for the next day as well. Such sight always makes the morning routines easy.
The key here is to eliminate visual distractions because they always cause stress. Then comes arranging all stuffs for those hurried food preps or finding references among my PC folders. Having everything in order and cleaning after every chore may be kinda burden, but their results always eliminate stress later. And I mean, always!
7. Say no when you have to. Can you make it to dinner tomorrow? Yeah, sure. Is it alright if we carpool this week? Of course, no problem. Honey, let’s skip the nature walk. Let’s just stay home and watch football with me. Sure, hon. Then you live the rest of the hours fretting about messed up skeds, dealing with unruly kids of the neighbor and imagining the outdoors while hubby’s cheering some millionaire football hero you don’t know. What’s the point of saying yes when you could say no? To stress yourself?
Just say no. If you wish to, state your reasons outright and if you have it, suggest something better. When saying yes means getting your plans spoiled, then say no. When saying yes means disappointments, say no. When saying yes means losing yourself, say no.
The key here is not just having the power to say no when you have to; it’s having the power to keep yourself stress free.
There. All done, everything said. How do you keep your day free of stress? Care to share? That would be lovely!