Whatever stage of life you’re at, unpredictable events and hectic periods can lead to stress quite easily. The aim is not to avoid those busy and pressured times but to work around them while maintaining your mental and physical health.
Here are 10 ways to successful stress management.
Work towards establishing a routine
This is probably the fundamental step for successful stress management. Establishing a routine will give you a sense of structure to fall into when you’re starting to feel like things are a bit out of hand.
A routine will not only give you a sense of security but it will also act as a point of reference in terms of what you need to do and when which will ease any stress you get.
Get a planner and keep track of your activities
Whether you have to go to class, to a meeting or even if you’re meeting someone for coffee pencil that down. You would be surprised at how easily we forget about things and that’s why you should write down even a minor task that you have to do.
Another thing that could help is writing lists. They can be as little or as big as you want them to be, ticking off tasks will give you a sense of achievement.
Breaking things down into smaller task can also give you a sense of control and that whatever you’re tackling is manageable which definitely helps with stress management.
Assign some “you time”
The previous point leads conveniently to this one. Leave empty slots in your planned schedule for breaks. If going out and socialising would make you feel happier and help with stress management, make sure you assign that time in your schedule.
It’s not about working hard, but about working smart. Working hard will only burn you out, and when you’re feeling tired you don’t want to feel sorry as well for the good times that you’re missing out on. It’s all about moderation and achieving a healthy work-life balance.
Make exercise part of your routine
I won’t go in on all the scientific proof behind why exercise is beneficial to your health, but one thing I should stress is that with exercise you release endorphins. Endorphins are what make you feel happy and energised after you’re done exercising which can also make you feel good about yourself and reduce stress.
You don’t have to sign up to the most expensive gym or get a personal trainer, just make simple adjustments to your lifestyle such as walking to work or taking the stairs. Start out by making baby steps and that could gradually build up your resilience in physical exercise.
Drink enough water
If you’re thinking that water is boring well, you’re right. But it’s also healthy and essential for your body so you need to drink it. If you find yourself feeling constantly drained out and not in the mood to do most things, chances are that you’re dehydrated.
Taking into consideration that our body is mainly consisted of water, lack of it could have detrimental effects to our health.
And bad health means unhappy life, so make an active effort to take your necessary water intake (which is 2L per day). One thing that could help in this could be carrying a measuring water bottle to keep track of your water intake.
Get enough sleep
Forget about all-nighters. You’re not going to work better if you overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion. Get your eight hours of sleep in, it will put you in a better mood and help you work better so leave staying up late for the weekends.
DON’t be hard on yourself
Surely plenty of this advice is based on establishing certain activities in your lifestyle routine, but a lot of it is also mental. Think of it this way, try to establish a new routine of thoughts when you’re having that internal monologue with yourself.
Try to filter out the negative comments and affirmations and make an active effort to be good to yourself.
Acknowledge the good things that you do and the amount of effort you put into certain things. Try to go over the things you have achieved and don’t focus on the “long way” you still have to go.
Expect failure (with the intention to learn from it)
A good way to avoid disappointment and massive set backs in your mood is by predicting that failure is bound to happen. Rome wasn’t build in a day, and it definitely wasn’t smooth sailing the whole way.
If you don’t fail you won’t learn and if you don’t learn you will not see development. So instead of stressing out about a mistake and the fact that it happened, take a step back, accept it and take the decision to learn from it rather than letting it consume you.
Be selective in the people that you surround yourself with
As mentioned, life can be full of surprises and unpredictability leading to stress. However, the people that act as your support system can help massively in coping with it.
If there’s a friend, a boyfriend or girlfriend in your life that doesn’t make you feel good about yourself and they add up to the stress that you already have then odds are that you need to stay away from them.
Taking that decision can be hard at first but the benefits will definitely be worth it in the long-run. Make sure that the people around you are supportive and cheer you up rather than bring you down.
Remember to enjoy the ride
At the end of the day, you really need to reflect and be honest with yourself. Try to figure out the main origins of bad stress management, is it the heavy workload or is it actually you not enjoying what you do?
These fundamental questions will help you find out what it is that causes that stress and will enable you to address the situation directly.
The main premise of whatever you do is you being happy throughout the process. If that job/ degree/relationship is failing in making you feel that way then maybe you should re-consider. Put yourself and your happiness first and successful stress management will follow.