Five practical ways to help manage your stress
As you are aware it has been Stress Awareness Month in April and I love to be able to share some tips to help you reduce your stress levels.
If you’re currently struggling with stress, please allow yourself 15 minutes to work through the following self-reflective exercises. If your first thought is ‘I don’t have time’, that’s exactly why you need to do this…
1. Write it down
Ok so first of all we need to get clear on what’s happening in your life. The most productive way of doing this is to write everything that’s on your mind in bullet points or a mind map.
Now you can see it all laid out in front of you, go through and decide on one action point for each issue, or if you have no ‘external’ control over the situation, how can you change the way you’re looking at it? We always have two options; change it by taking action, or change your mindset on it.
2. Set Boundaries
The chances are that you already know what boundaries you need to set. The question is, why aren’t you?
Write down the answers to the following questions:
- What boundaries do I know I need to set?
- What’s stopping me from putting them in place?
- If I don’t put them in place what will happen?
- Are my fears about putting them in place true?
- What would implementing these boundaries give me?
- What is one step I can take towards putting each of these boundaries in place and when will I do it?
3. Decide on a non-negotiable
Non-negotiables are the things we just DO; like brushing our teeth for example. We don’t question it, we just do it and it’s not pushed to the bottom of the pile.
- What is one non-negotiable I know I should be doing that will help my mental, physical and emotional health?
- How often am I going to do it?
- When am I going to do it?
- How am I going to implement it?
- What are the consequences if I don’t do it?
I know, this is a predictable one, but it’s also needed! How many things do you take on or keep doing because ‘it’s just easier to do it yourself’. It may well be easier for the first few times, but it will be better for your stress levels in the long run.
With this in mind, what is at least one thing you are currently doing that you can ask someone else to do, or help you with- this can be work related or in your personal life.
5. Understand how you’re part of the problem…
I know it’s hard to hear, but when you’re experiencing stress you have without doubt been complicit in your situation to some degree – I’ve been there (and still go there!) so please don’t take this as a lack of compassion to your situation.
Take some time to complete the following:
- What unrealistic, (or very high) expectations am I putting on myself?
- How often do I take things on when I know I don’t have capacity and why?
- Which of the following sentences resonate with me…
- If I’m not stressed I’m not working hard enough
- I don’t know how to relax, that’s just how I am
- Being busy makes me feel needed
- I’m the one who holds it all together
- If I don’t do it no one else will
- People will think I can’t cope if I ask for help
- If I don’t overachieve I have failed
None of these beliefs are helpful and all of them increase our stress response. If you would like some support in managing your stress and you’re ready to make changes, get in touch at email@example.com or take a look at my website www.sianharvey.co.uk where you can also find an extended version of the above exercise.
I hope this is of benefit to your life, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 07770 302504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org