As moms, entrepreneurs, business leaders and so much more-stress is almost an inevitable factor most days. However, what if there were simple ways to combat stress and live each day with a more relaxed and calm presence? Today we’re sharing 10 things you can do to lead a less stressful life.
1. Time-block and simplify your schedule.
Time-blocking consists of designating a certain amount of time for every task you need to accomplish during each day. Choose time increments such as 30 minutes to answer emails or 20 minutes to make phone calls. One of the best aspects about time-blocking is that it breakdowns and simplifies your schedule by focusing on progress and not completion. This makes your daily tasks more approachable and your sense of productivity higher.
One of the major causes of daily stress is a hectic schedule. Another way to simplify your schedule is by reducing the number of commitments in your life to just the essential ones. Write down priorities, goals etc. that are the most important to you and learn to say no to the rest. This will slowly, but surely reduce the commitments that aren’t truly beneficial to you and where you want/need to be. Approach each day by scheduling only a 1-3 high-priority tasks. This will allow time daily for reflection, down-time and fun.
2. Make extracurricular plans once a week.
It can sometimes seem impossible to carve out time to essentially hang out and havefun, but spending time with your friends has been scientifically proven to enrich your life and improve your health. A study completed by the Mayo Clinic stated “Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.”
So, regardless of how busy or chaotic your schedule seems, make plans with friends to cook dinner together, check out a new café, meet up for a walk around the park or take a workout class together.
3. Simplify your finances.
Finances are often known to drain your energy and become a stressor in life. However, financial organization can be a major key to eliminate that. Try and figure out ways to simplify things when it comes to finances. Automate savings, bill payments and debt payments. Reduce the time you spend going to the mall shopping and spend money on things that are an investment. Lastly, create a savings for future fun-for example a stay-cation or mini vacation.
4. Develop a relaxing nightly routine.
We have all been there. It’s late at night and we find ourselves spiraling down the Pinterest rabbit hole, lost in a book or binge-watching Netflix. Instead of getting caught up in mindless activity every night, give your after work hours more structure and thought. One way to tackle this is to use each night to both prepare for the next day and recharge/relax.
This can be preparing tomorrow’s lunch, organizing your to-do list or laying out your outfit for the next day. Then once that is taken care of, enjoy some mindful time soaking in a bath, listening to music, or connecting on a phone call with your best friend or family member.
5. Be early.
Being late can be very stressful. As opposed to being early, which always offers a sense of calmness and clarity. Try to leave earlier by getting ready earlier, or by planning more time between events in your schedule. The truth is, things always seem to take longer than expected, so schedule some buffer time. This can be extra time to get ready, to commute or to finish an unanticipated errand.
6. Wake up 30 minutes earlier everyday.
Continuing with the same thought process as #5, give yourself more time to complete and experience things daily. Instead of spending 30 minutes still in bed scrolling through social media, hop out of your sheets and do something that makes you feel productive. This is a rejuvenating way to get your day started. Think activities such as catching up on your favorite news column or blog with your morning coffee, enjoy a walk outside with your dog, treat yourself to an elaborate breakfast or even simply mediating. Your days will feel longer and less rushed by beginning them with a bit of planned and mindful structure.
7. Develop a healthy habit you can take on monthly.
Creating short-term goals for new healthy habits are great for a few reasons. Firstly, they are more obtainable, thus create less stress in trying to achieve them. Secondly, the feeling of accomplishing them will trickle over and these short-term habits will likely become habits that will stick around, maybe even becoming life-long.
One obvious habit to take on would be becoming more physically active. However, there are other small ways to improve your overall health. Eat more fruits and veggies for snacks. Floss every day. Cook something healthy for dinner. Drink water instead of soda. Just be sure to tackle one habit at a time.
8. Create long-term goals.
While above we shared the importance of developing short-term habits, developing long-term goals are also essentials to leading a less stressful life. “Biologist Christoph Randler surveyed 367 university students, asking what time of day they were most energetic and how willing and able they were to take action to change a situation to their advantage. A higher percentage of the morning people agreed with statements that indicate proactivity, such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself” and “I feel in charge of making things happen.””
When you feel in charge and in control, you invite less room stress. You are prepared, organized an ready to be productive.
9. Honor your core values.
We each have a set of core values that we live by. These values can range from integrity, courage, kindness, honesty, positivity, respect etc. They are what help lead your life and carry an important role in your daily life too. Being conscious of your core values and following them is extremely important to keep yourself accountable and stress-free. Often, if you or someone in your life falls short in honoring these values, it can create an immense amount of stress and worry.
Honoring your values, and creating a circle of people in your life that do the same, helps to free your conscious mind and keep stress at bay. So, stand up for yourself and speak up, your mental and physical health will thank you.
10. Declutter the part of your home.
Try not to plan a complete home-declutter in one day. Instead, choose a section of your home that is providing you with the most stress and anxiety and eliminate it by decluttering. Maybe it is your overflowing closet. Clean it out and only keep versatile and investment pieces. Or maybe it is the bathroom countertop you can no longer see because it’s cluttered with makeup and a other useless bottles. Whatever space you come across every day and that presents you with stress, declutter it and leave yourself with a more calm and productive space.
That completes our list of 10 Things You Can Do to Lead a Less Stressful Life. How do you make the most out of your daily routine and what will you do to stay calm and productive?
“If you ask what is the single most important key to longevity, I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” – George F. Burns
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