How do you keep stress at bay?

Stress is real and can cause major anxiety. The busier our lives become, the more we need to juggle means the likelihood of stress is high. Trying to find a healthy balance between home, work and our social lives can be a struggle. I personally find 24 hours is not nearly enough time to get everything done. Perhaps I need to accept I will never tick off as much as I would like from my ‘to do’ list. It does not stop me from trying. I am not one to underestimate but I find tasks take longer than you first anticipated. Not allowing enough time to get from A to B or to complete projects will heighten stress levels.

Now both of our children attend full time school, everything arrives in two’s; parents evening, ‘dress up for this’ and ‘dress up for that’day, school trips, plays, sports day, birthday parties, homework and ironing ten sets of school uniform. I start to twitch when the letters and invitations arrive and my mind runs to;

“How much do I need to pay?”
“What costume do I need to buy?”
“Do I need to take leave from work?”

My husband and I alternate which events we attend or drop the children to according to our work and weekend schedules. The planning and discussion alone makes me a tad dizzy!

If like me, you rely on public transport to commute to work, delayed and cancelled trains can cause stress, particularly if you need to arrive for a meeting or seminar. The cold weather automatically affects the train timetable so not only are you late but you also have the privilege of standing in the cold!

Five suggestions for reducing your stress levels:

1. Delegate what can be delegated to others – learn to let go of tasks that can shared.

2. Take a good look at your movements and activities to identify if you have overstretched yourself.

3. Think before committing to anything else. It is better to say no from the onset than commit and do a half hearted job.

4. Factor in time to rest and reflect daily.

5. Always factor in ample time to complete tasks and for travel. Allow for delays and disruptions rather than live in hope.

How do you de-stress? 
Perhaps you are laid back and take life as it comes – how has this worked out for you?

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8 thoughts on “How do you keep stress at bay?”

  1. I remember all too well the days of my corporate stress. The unbelievable hours I worked for little pay or recognition. It was utterly draining. This week my sisters and husband (traveling) all called me to vent about their jobs. After the last call I chuckled. Not at what they are going through, but that these days my stress is mostly self-induced and therefore, mostly controllable. Am I meeting writing goals? What deadlines can I meet, what will I miss, how do I reprioritize the projects? But at least it’s finally doing something I love.

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  2. I don’t have children (by choice) so that’s one area eliminated that generates a lot of stress for most people. On the whole, I focus on stress prevention. As an Introvert, I learned long ago the importance of making time to re-energize, and I’m very picky about what type of commitments I add to my schedule.

    Of course, life happens but I find because I make sure to give myself the time I need that when I am hit with an immovable object it really doesn’t throw me off much … she said, keeping her fingers and toes crossed this declaration doesn’t suddenly bring the roof down on her head!

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  3. My high stress days should be behind me, but I find I still have times when I feel I cannot complete everything I want to do. I used to teach school full time, raise two children, and participate in all sorts of activities related to my job. I was legitimately stressed out in those days! Now that I;m retired, and my children are grown, I still set the bar for getting things done quite high. Your suggestions came at the right time! Thanks!

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    1. You certainly took on a lot in your younger years! I too work full-time, am raising two children and involved in voluntary work. I feel overwhelmed and prioritise reading the bible and praying as well as planning each day.

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  4. Great timing for your post, Phoenicia. I’ve just gone thru an incredibly difficult stretch with unimaginably cold weather that had my water pipes freeze twice, and had me lice without heat for 6 hours in -30C weather. These conditions which were beyond my control caused me great stress. But I managed to get thru it and am praying that we don’t get another stint of excessive cold. My coping mechanism was to stay in the house and keep the blinds pulled down at night to keep the heat in.

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    1. Your recent situation sounds extremely challenging. You must have slept with dozens of blankets as well as several pairs of socks. I certainly hope such a thing does not happen again. These circumstances show us just how much resilience we have.

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