1. What causes your stress? When we are stressed, we become too overly reactive to small things and situations that make it harder for us to focus and understand what is actually the main root of the stress. Sit down, turn off your TV, phone, computer and for a few minuted try to analyze or feel what are you most anxious about. Most common stressors are often one’s job, education, money and health.
2. You can’t control everything! So stop worrying. Some things are out of your control, so having realistic expectations about yourself and your capabilities is the key here. And remember worrying gets you nowhere:“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” ― Dalai Lama XIV
3. Prioritize and don’t be afraid to ask for a favour When you know what you can and cannot control, make a list of your priorities by asking yourself “will it matter to me, people I love or the world in a year”. Then cut back on your obligations when possible. Delegate some of your routine work that “has to be done”, be it personal life or career, to siblings, partners, colleagues, subordinates or friends. People that love you and care about you will be more than happy to help.
4. Organize your schedule. Now that you have your prioritized list, it’s a perfect time of the year to buy a new 2015 planner and take your time to carefully plan for weeks and months ahead. Having a schedule will provide some structure to your life, will help you see how much time you need to complete various projects and that can help you feel more in-control, thus less stressed out. Note: It’s up to you how detailed you will make your future plans, just keep them realistic and remember that unexpected things will come up anyway and sometimes you will not be able to stick to the plan. In this situation go back to #2
5. Be ready. Now that your most important tasks are planned ahead, make sure that you prepare for events and activities. This will give you more stability and may also increase the feeling of being in control. Be punctual, or even better – early. Everybody knows what kind of anxiety and uncertainty one feel when running in late, wondering if the meeting has already started without them, thinking of excuses and dreaming you could have the teleportation superpower. Very often it is not even your fault that you are late, but the feeling still sucks. Try building in time for the unexpected (traffic jams, bad weather, etc.). Don’t start over-clattering your schedule with the small tings. When feeling overwhelmed, go back to #3 – re-evaluate and prioritize.
6. Love yourself. You will do mistakes and sometimes will feel like a failure because there is so much on your plate. That’s normal and you will get better in managing your stress with practice. I will say it again – you can’t control everything and if the mistake is done, you can’t travel back in time and erase it. Beating yourself up will not do any good either. But here is what you can do: LEARN from the mistake (take the lesson, apologize if it caused damage, take steps not to repeat the same mistake, etc.) & FORGIVE yourself (don’t play out the situation in your head over and over, forget it, do things that you enjoy and are good for you like yoga, crafts, sports, reading, connecting with friends, surrounding your self with positive people, etc.).
Stress usually doesn’t just magically disappear on its own. It requires constant work to get it under control. Try to be self-reflective, and think about the source of your stress and whether there is something you can do to reduce your level of stress, and never forget that your well-being and health comes before everything else.