The world is a stressful, or at least the modern world is. With schedules and deadlines and traffic and more, just ordinary life can cause a lot of excess stress. I’m certainly not immune and probably no one is. Here are five ways I reduce or limit stress. Hopefully they will work for you as well.
1) Arrive early. I hate being late, but the world seems to try to make us late for nearly everything. Being late, or even close to late, makes me stress, whether it’s a doctors appointment, or work related, or personal. Although I can’t always do it, I try to arrive 5 to 10 minutes early. Being early is no problem, and I always carry something to do should I be early, whether it’s reading a book or paying a few bills.
2) Avoid excessive caffeine. I’m a coffee lover, and perhaps you are too, or maybe you get caffeine from other sources. I have no problem with caffeine, although too much does make be tense. I try to limit myself to a cup or two in the morning, one after lunch perhaps, and the occasional one after dinner if I’ll be working late. Any more and my blood pressure and stress levels go up!
3) Sleep enough. Sleep deprivation tends to make me cranky and stressed. Although probably no one with a job and three kids or even a life can sleep as much as perhaps they want, I try to get to bed early at least a couple nights a week, and even take naps if I can occasionally. Sometimes just lying down for 10 minutes make all the difference. I especially need extra sleep when I’m traveling, and try to get to bed early.
4) Say no more often. It’s hard to say no and no one likes saying it, but sometimes you are just too busy to take on additional anythings, whether it’s work projects, or something around the house, or anything else. Overload certainly causes stress. If saying no is hard, try something like “I’d love to, but I’m so busy I’m not sure I can do a good job with the time I have available!” I have the most problem with this one, as I always seem to be going fast and underestimate how long things will take me to complete.
5) Limit alcohol. I drink, and I love to. I’m a big wine drinker, and occasional will have a beer or martini too. Nothing wrong with that, and a drink or two occasionally can help one relax. Did you know however that too much alcohol causes stress? Now everyone’s definition of too much may vary, and short of alcoholism, is certainly a personal thing. However keep in mind that alcohol can cause stress and often does.
Following the above five guidelines, trying to be early, avoiding excessive caffeine and alcohol, sleeping plenty, and not taking on too many responsibilities help me manage my stress levels by keeping them to a reasonable level. Some stress is normal and healthy, and hopefully these guidelines may help you keep your stress to a normal and healthy level.