Take advantage of your stress by managing it in these 7 simple ways!
1. Schedule your procrastination:
You know you’re going to procrastinate, so just make time for it. A scheduled break in your work or school day helps keep your mind fresh, and you won’t have stress from guilt over procrastinating. Just make sure you don’t procrastinate when it comes to doing what you really need to do.
2. Take a walk around the block:
If you’re too stressed to lift weights, just use the gym outside! The morning or evening weather is perfect for a short walk, and the fresh air, change of scenery, and physical activity helps relieve.
“Physical exercise [of any sort] can ‘work off’ stress hormones,” and there are even more health benefits to walking.
3. Do some stress management exercises at your desk:
- Breathe deeply.
- Do some tension-relaxation actions (tightly clench your fists, hold it while you count to 3, then release).
- Close your eyes for a few moments, then release.
- Try out guided imagery meditation
4. Take a short break:
4-step stress management procedure: E-A-S-E. First, eliminate the stressor from your life. While totally stress elimination is nearly impossible, it’s possible to eliminate the stressor for periods of time by delegating tasks you can’t handle right now, taking breaks, and going on vacation to recharge!
5. Organize your day:
The next step in E-A-S-E program is altering the impact of the stressor. By managing your time efficiently, you can minimize the effect that stress has on you. Try your hand at creative problem solving, which could potentially remove the stress entirely. If that doesn’t work, scheduling the rest of your day—including the end of your day—can still help. For example, straightening up your desk before you leave work. A clean desk can make the next morning even more productive.
6. Take five minutes to center yourself:
Your mindset is everything, so the third step is especially key. Shift your outlook to reduce unrealistic expectations (yes, you’re going to procrastinate), get rid of irrational beliefs (no, your life isn’t over because the project isn’t going well), and stop the negative self-talk (no, you aren’t a failure). Stay positive and think of each problem as a challenge and opportunity to learn.An excellent tip: “[Ask yourself], ‘Will this problem cost me a lot or less, impact 5 people, or bother me in 5 years?’ If not, let it go!”
7. Do something that makes you feel good:
Think about how you respond to stress. The fourth step is to ease your response—responding to stress with stress is a terrible feedback loop, so practice a more positive response, like relaxing with a book, going for a run, or eating a healthy snack.
“Stress is part of life. Eat real food, exercise, meditate, laugh, [and] do what you enjoy for some part of your day, [every day].”