It is no surprise that many people report being stressed in our day to day lives. Family obligations, work life balance, and job stressors can quickly become overwhelming. Add financial and health concerns and we can find something to feel “stressed” about in almost every aspect of our lives. Although we are not able to eliminate stress there are many things we can do to help manage and reduce stress in our daily lives. In this post we will consider ways to reduce stress at home and work in order to help manage stress and try to answer the question what is the best way to manage stress.
What Is Stress?
In order to learn how to manage stress in life we first must understand what stress is. Stress is not just the things that make you worry or give you that “bad” stress feeling. Stress is also the things that excite us and make us happy like a birthday, moving to a new home, or starting a new career. Stress can be both positive and negative.
We need to remember that stress is ok and that we biologically need stress. Tyler Watkins provides interesting insight into why we as humans needs stress to grow and thrive. Stress is both good and bad but all stress needs to be managed. When we are experience particularly high amounts of stress it is even more important that we learn how to manage stress levels.
How Can Time Management Reduce Stress?
If your work life requires you to meet deadlines and you are constantly feeling a pinch to get things done, you are likely adding more stress to your life by not utilizing your time properly. Time management can help you to reduce stress by giving a purpose to the time in your day. Consider breaking up your day into pockets and allow yourself scheduled breaks to ensure that you can stay focused while also staying on track.
If you work from a home-based office it can be very easy to become distracted. Set non-negotiable work hours and stick to them. Use your time effectively but also make sure to take set times off. Pick a lunch hour and a coffee break. Staying in control of your schedule and utilizing time management strategies can help you practice how to manage your stress and stop you from feeling overwhelmed.
How Does Planning Help You Manage Stress?
When you’re not prepared you likely feel stressed. You probably wouldn’t book a flight the morning you intend to leave for a vacation. Instead, you’ve probably compiled a detailed plan and have your schedule set out. Planning keeps us feeling in control and helps us manage stress by reducing worry. When we don’t have to constantly think about what to do next or what we will need, we are able to remove stress for both good and bad stressors.
Planning helps us manage stress by setting out our expectations and directions ahead of time. It takes away worry and points us in the right direction when we are overwhelmed. For your next work project, try starting with a plan, set milestones and think of all steps that you will need to be completed. Knowing what needs to be done will also help you develop a plan for utilizing your time.
Planning can be done for everyday tasks and small changes can greatly reduce our stress. Some simple ways to plan for you day are to choose an outfit for work the night before, know an alternate route for transportation, and preparing any material you need. Try thinking of simple things that will help remove stress and allow for better time management at the same time.
How Can Food Help A Person Manage Stress
Food plays an important role in helping us to manage stress. Eating a nutritious diet can help by allowing us to avoid highly processed food that contain large amounts of sugar and sodium. Foods with a lot of these ingredients can elevate stress levels. Shape.com provides insight into foods that can increase your stress level. On the flip side, magnesium is a natural supplement that can help you to be calm and reduce stress. Consider adding magnesium rich foods to your diet or taking a magnesium supplement before bed. If you often feel stressed at night try adding magnesium to your evening routine.
Some people may find the idea of eating nutritious food intimidating. Cooking for themselves can be stressful if you don’t know where to get started. If you find cooking stressful, meal planning may be a good option for you. There are plenty of resources available to help you learn how to cook for the entire week in one day and allow you to eat good food even while on the go.
Preparing nutritious food to take with you on the go is a great way to utilize food and planning to help you reduce stress. Planning the food you eat and using your time to prepare it ahead of time takes away the stress of not only sourcing food but also the stress of knowing what to eat. Getting into the habit of meal prepping and eating nutritious meals can go a long way in helping manage your stress levels.
What If These Ideas Feel Overwhelming?
If the ideas discussed in this article feel overwhelming, you may need help developing a plan that works for you. Consider speaking with your doctor, a therapist or a life coach if you think your stress levels are out of control. Left unchecked, excess stress can cause you to feel anxious. It is critically important to make yourself a priority and keep your stress levels manageable.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help with reducing your stress levels. Seek assistance from the people in your life who can help you get things on track and don’t be afraid to say no. Go with your gut when consider taking on new tasks and be ok with saying no to things you believe will cause you too much negative stress.
Don’t forget that stress can be managed by making small positive changes. Get accustomed to using your time to plan and you can do your best to be prepared for any stressors that come your way.