Staying busy is never a bad thing, in my opinion. At work, being busy usually means that things are going well and you’re seeing success. But have you ever noticed that whenever things are going well at the office, it seems inevitable that you’ll be getting less sleep, feeling a little less sane, and drinking more caffeine? It’s a bit of a juggle: When one aspect of your life is busy and thriving, there’s usually another side of the story that involves a stressed out and worn down version of yourself. When we don’t manage our stress properly at times like these, it can be hard for us to accomplish important tasks and stay productive. So with that in mind, today I’ve come up with some strategies and tips to help you get through those inevitable high-stress times in your life. Check them out below…
1. Make a to-do list.
If you are a visual person, this is a great way to manage stress. To-do lists will keep you organized and it’s pretty satisfying to check off tasks throughout the day. I often make two types of to-do lists: daily and long term. For my daily to-do list, I write down all the tasks that I have to accomplish that day. They are non-negotiable and have to be completed by the time I leave the office. For my long-term to-do list, I include tasks that have to be done in the near future. It’s time to dust off that planner and put it to good use.
2. Find the source of your stress.
Sometime it’s hard to get to the root of the problem, which is the first step in eliminating it. When you find yourself overwhelmed, take a moment to think about the source of your stress. You might need to lighten your schedule (learning to say no can be tough!), organize your cluttered workspace, or even step away from what you’re working on so that you can clear your mind.
3. Keep a positive attitude.
When I’m stressed I often have to remind myself that it’s a just a bad day—not a bad life. The best way to handle stress is to tackle it with a positive attitude. Frame a photo of you and your beau or bestie and put in a place where you can see it everyday or add a fresh vase of blooms to your desk. Put your tasks in perspective and know that tomorrow is a new day to start fresh.
4. Tackle one thing at a time.
When you start running all the tasks that you have to accomplish through your mind all at once, you can easily get overwhelmed. This is where that planner will come in handy. Staying productive throughout the day can be a challenge if you’re on the verge of a mental breakdown. Prioritizing your tasks and giving your full attention to one thing at a time will help you stay focused and organized!
5. Eat smarter foods.
Feed your body foods that will keep it working at it’s best. Even though it can extremely tempting to grab fast food or a quick bag of chips when you’re flustered, taking the time to fuel your body the right way can have positive effects. Adding superfoods and other nutrient and protein-rich foods into your diet will keep you energized and ready to tackle the day head on. If you’re short on time, plan ahead by meal prepping, or make a healthy and delicious smoothie.
6. Make a little me time.
When life gets busy, we tend to forget to take care of the most important thing—ourselves! Be sure to find time to engage in your favorite hobby, get a mani/pedi, or simply put on a mask in the evening and unwind. It’s important and absolutely necessary to spoil yourself every once and a while.
7. Learn and practice relaxation techniques.
Yoga, regular exercise, breathing techniques, and walking are all great ways to help with stress. Exercise releases endorphins, which makes you feel happier and more energized. If you’re strapped for time or can’t leave the office, stretching at your desk can help get your body moving, too.
8. Surround yourself with happy people.
The people you surround yourself with can heavily impact your own attitude on a day-to-day basis. Surrounding yourself with strong, supportive and positive people will help motivate you and keep you going. Toxic relationships have a way of zapping your energy and can only bring you down in the long run.
9. Turn your brain (and your phone!) off at night.
A good night’s sleep is crucial for a productive and stress-free day. If you’re glued to your phone or laptop like I am, it’s hard to unwind at night. When you’re approaching bedtime, be sure to unplug at least an hour before you crawl into bed. Staring at a screen can hinder your ability to fall asleep and can even mess with your internal clock. So have a cup of tea, curl up with a good book, and give your brain a break.
10. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
We often forget that our family, friends, and co-workers are there to support us throughout stressful times. When you feeling overwhelmed, simply ask for help. Asking for assistance doesn’t mean that you aren’t capable of finishing the task. Ask your sister to help you with the baby shower invitations or your co-worker for advice on how they perform a work task most effectively. You will probably find that they are more than happy to help you.
I hope these tips can help you unwind. Some may take some practice, but in time you’ll be able to keep your stress to a minimum.
How do you manage your stress?
Let me know in the comments!