You hear about stress all the time these days. Stress can be sneaky, it pops up at the worst times. When you are leaving for work or picking your child up from school. Here it comes again. You wonder how you will do everything that you need to. The first thing you need to tell yourself, is that you don’t have to do everything.
This is the biggest mistake women make. You are worried about letting others down. This is where you need to go easy on yourself. You will let others down, as they will let you down, and that’s alright. You aren’t perfect, and neither is anyone else.
Here are 7 tips to help you get the stress in your life under control:
- Connect with others. As human beings we need to be in a relationship with others. This means all kinds of relationships. Hang out with friends. Call/text a friend if you haven’t heard from them in a while. Plan weekend getaways with your partner, family and friends. The inner ear, face, heart and stomach are wired together in the stomach. Therefore, socially interacting with another person, making eye contact, listening in an attentive and interested way, and talking - can quickly calm you down and put the brakes on a defensive stress response like, “fight-or-flight.”
- Don’t be afraid to say no. It’s just one little word, but it will make you feel so much better. Not only about yourself, but about others. This is also known as having boundaries. When you have good boundaries, you are less likely to feel resentful towards others. If you haven’t already, start saying no today.
- Don’t wait until the last minute. We’ve all been there and we know how the story ends. Remember when you were in college and you would wait until the night before a term paper was due, to start writing it. You barely made it to class, and probably didn’t get the grade you had hoped for. It only gets worse as you get older. Your boss may not be as understanding as your college professor. Plan ahead, a little a day is the best way. That’s how ants work, and they get a lot done.
- Remember to be grateful. Start each day with 5 things you are grateful for. Write it in a journal, if you’d like. Start with, having a roof over your head. It’s easy to focus on what you don’t have, rather that what you do have.
- Add creativity to your day. Creativity is a great way to relax. Draw, paint, color, knit or cook. There are many ways to be creative. This is also good for your brain. Instead of watching the news, spend time coloring. You don’t have to be an artist. Do not judge your work. Just have fun with it.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Other’s are usually willing to help out, you just need to ask. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. This also goes with setting boundaries. People that genuinely care about you will be glad to help.
- End your day on a positive note. When you come home play with your kids or your pet. Let your spouse know how your day went. Let your family know the good things that happened in your day. Even if they seem small, I’m sure they’d love to know. Watch a funny YouTube video or comedy before bed. Stay away from the drama, and get plenty of rest.
Don’t let stress get the best of you. If you start using these tips, you will get the stress in your life under control. Start with one at a time. One of my favorites is, my grateful list. It has really changed my outlook on life.
Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Mateo, CA. She has helped many people reduce the stress in their lives, and live a reasonably happy life. For more information, please call or email (650) 892-0357 or Lianne@LessonsforLove.com.