Don’t Panic: 10 Effective Ways To Combat Stress
There is no denying that life can be one big bundle of stress. From professional obligations to personal commitments to the rigors of daily life, our days are filled to the brim with many demands that can put some serious miles on our minds and bodies. But that doesn’t mean that all is hopeless in the battle to cling to our sanity. In honor of National Stress Awareness Month, MadameNoire is pleased to serve up 10 helpful tips to win the battle against stress.
Prioritize Your Tasks
We can’t stress enough (pun completely intended) that prioritizing your to-do list is essential to fighting back against worry and anxiety. No matter if you are facing five tasks or 50, giving them an order based on due date, importance, etc. will help to set you on a more productive and less stressful path. Moreover, we suggest separating tasks into two lists: Must-dos and nice to-dos. Put that nice to-do list in a drawer and only open it once you’ve cranked through your must-dos. Facing down only the must-accomplish tasks will feel far less overwhelming than trying to tackle everything.
Take Your Time
As much as you may want to rush through as many tasks as possible so you finally dig your way out of this stressful hole, don’t be too frenetic in your pace. Sometimes trying to rush through your day will only make it feel more chaotic and overwhelming. Take your time with the tasks that call for a little extra care and understand that this will ultimately accomplish your to-dos in a more efficient way.
Celebrate The Small Victories
Sure running to the grocery store or tackling your laundry may not seem like the most ground-breaking, earth-shattering of accomplishments, but in the grand scheme of our crazy busy daily lives, you should celebrate these small victories. Every chore you’re able to cross off your list — while balancing the demands of your career, of motherhood, or just being a person — is worthy of a solid pat on the back and maybe a nice glass of wine. So cheers to you!
Set Realistic Expectations
Are you going to be able to knock out that 25 Powerpoint slide presentation for work, slay your hair for a night out with the girls and run across town to pick out a present for mom’s birthday … all in two hours? No. No you’re not. So don’t set yourself up to feel like you’ve failed. Set realistic expectations that can honestly be achieved. If you do, you’ll be able to avoid unnecessary stress and disappointment.
Don’t Be Afraid To Embrace Help
Someone offers to take a task off your very full plate? Don’t be so stubborn as to turn them down immediately. We get it, we all love to be independent superwomen who can do it all without breaking a sweat. But that simply isn’t feasible all the time. So when someone who cares about you offers their services to lighten your load, even just a little bit, let them know how grateful you are and let them help. Trust us, they’ll feel just as good about lending a helping hand, as you do about shedding a little bit of stress.
Exercising, stressed or not, is always a good habit to get into. But particularly when you feel like you’re in an abyss of tasks, responsibilities and commitments, taking an hour out of your day to sweat it out can make all the difference. Hop on the treadmill and run it out or take a spin class and use this time to clear your head and re-energize before diving back into reality.
This one is incredibly important. Sometimes when people ask you to do favors or run errands, they aren’t aware of the whole picture. They don’t realize how many other demands you might be facing or how swamped you are. So don’t be afraid to tell them. Let them know as much as you’d love to help, you’ve just got too much going on, but that you’ll gladly assist next time.
On the opposite end of the spectrum from exercise, meditation can be a great way to unplug, unwind and de-stress. Even taking 15 minutes of quiet time to close your eyes and relax can make a world of difference and ultimately set you up for greater productivity for the rest of your day.
Get Your Beauty Rest
One of the most important suggestions on our list, without question, is getting some serious ZZZs. Stress can do a number on your health and overall wellness, so it’s crucial that when you have a lot going on, you make sure to get eight or more hours of sleep. Running yourself ragged will only make matters worse and make every task seem just that much more impossible.
Understand You’re Only Human
The key to combating stress is realizing that you can’t do it all. There are only so many hours in a day and the sooner you accept that sometimes your to-dos will have to wait until after a workout and a good night sleep, the easier it’ll be to kiss stress goodbye.