You thought life would be easy peasy, but it turned out to be stressy depressy. What can you do to manage your stress and make a positive impact on your quality of life? Check out these stress management tips that focus on solutions.
Recognize How Your Body & Mind Handle Stress
The way you process stress may be completely different than someone else’s processing method. If you can recognize when you’re feeling stressed, you can actively seek out solutions.
Your body may indicate that you’re stressed long before you realize it. Sometimes stress comes packaged in a perfectly predictable situation, like a job transition or a move. But in other cases, the stress can feel like it comes out of nowhere.
You may see changes in the way you eat, sleep, consume TV/books, take care of your body, go to the bathroom, interact with loved ones, and do any number of daily tasks. You may also feel an explosion of emotions or a complete sense of numbness. Take inventory of what your physical and mental stress symptoms look like so you can treat them as they arise.
Assess the True Source of Your Stress (It Probably Isn’t What You’re Stressing about!)
The tipping point in a stressful situation is usually not the actual source of the stress. If a wrinkled shirt in the morning makes you cry, the shirt probably isn’t the culprit. Instead, it’s the fact that your schedule is stretched thin and you feel overwhelmed by your housework.
This is just one example, but it shows how easily something seemingly small can add to a larger issue. In order to find the solution to the stress, you need to know what’s causing it. Are you actually stressed about making dinner, or are you stressed about the cleanup to follow? What kind of support could you lean on to minimize that stress and alleviate the weight on your shoulder?
Moreover, is your stress based on actual events or on the way your mind is interpreting the events around you? If you can dissect your stress on a meticulous level, you can start making positive changes in your life.
Use These Stress Management Tips to Find Solutions
Now that you know the root of the matter, it’s time to address it. There are countless ways to manage stress, and some methods may work better for you than others. Here are some tips that point toward solutions:
- Lean on your support system. Talk to them about your stress and see if they can take some tasks off your plate. Even if they cannot help you directly, getting the stress out of your mind might alleviate some of the pressure.
- Don’t focus too much on timeframes. If you can’t do the dishes every night, it’s fine to do them in the morning. If you can’t fold laundry for a couple days, fluff it in the dryer and go on with life! Give yourself some grace. You deserve that.
- Eliminate passive stressors, such as push notifications on your phone. If you feel stressed every time a message comes across your phone, turn off your push notifications for that app. Designate a time to read the messages so you don’t feel passive stress throughout the day.
- Create flexible schedules with downtime included. This might be a daily, weekly, and/or monthly schedule. Many adults thrive with block scheduling, where you set aside select hours for groups of tasks, rather than designated times for individual tasks. Don’t forget to make time for relaxing, sleeping, or doing nothing at all! Your mind needs that too.
- Establish a consistent sleep routine. Your brain processes stress when you sleep. Use that to your advantage! Learn more: How to Get Better Sleep for Better Mental Health
- Talk about your stress out loud. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking to yourself or have someone on the other end to respond. Verbalize what you’re stressing about, and you may be surprised by how quickly solutions present themselves.
- Recognize your personal limitations. If you’ve made more commitments than you can realistically handle, stop pushing yourself. It’s not easy to admit you’re in over your head, but this is crucial for stress management.
- Learn to set boundaries moving forward. You’re used to helping everyone you can, but now it’s time to help yourself. This means saying “no” when you don’t have the time or energy to take something on. Set boundaries to keep your stress to a manageable level.
Get Personalized Stress Management Tips from a Judgement-Free Expert
Do you get stressed out thinking of how to manage your stress? Perhaps you need an outsider’s perspective to point you in the right direction. That’s the beauty of our nonjudgmental therapy services. Everything happens at your pace, and it’s all geared toward improving your quality of life.