Life changes often happen fast and furious as you get older. Danielle McGaw is writing her way through the changes
Put Yourself First
Sometimes the people that have the most stress in their lives are the caregivers. They are moms and grown children taking care of elderly parents and employees that feel the need to do everything on the job. If you don't take time to take care of yourself though, that stress will only increase.
You can't care for others if you don't care for yourself first!
Even if you're not a caregiver, unaddressed stress can take over your life.
It takes effort but you can put yourself first in your life. And that will help you take the first steps to minimizing stress.
Look inside yourself for what is causing you stress
The truth is that stress doesn’t come from your boss, your kids, your spouse, traffic jams, health challenges, or other circumstances. It comes from your thoughts about your circumstances.
— Andrew Bernstein
#1 Get enough sleep
If you don't have enough sleep, you're going to feel stress a lot more!
Stress can stop you from sleeping properly but not sleeping properly can cause more stress. You only have control over yourself and your environment though. Make it a practice to set up an environment that is helpful for falling asleep.
Avoid white screens at least an hour before bed. Darken the room. Set the temperature just a little lower than you normally like it. Try a weighted blanket or a sound machine.
Different things can help you sleep and each person is different.
#2 Go for a walk
Not everyone has time to hit the gym for a couple hours a day but get out for at least 15-20 minutes each day and get some exercise. Stroll around the block, run in the park with your kids, or mow the lawn! It all counts as exercise and it will help you cope with stress better.
Some studies have shown there is evidence that walking helps to release endorphins in the brain. These "happy chemicals" improve mood and encourages relaxation of the mind and body.
You don't even have to walk fast! A simple stroll at a comfortable pace and release endorphins that help you get rid of stressful feelings.
Walking and other exercise helps with sleep and stress
#3 Don't hold in your emotions
When you are anxious, angry, sad, etc. you need to talk about it. Find someone you can trust. If you don't have someone like that in your life right now, find a Facebook group or a forum that you like and connect with people there.
The more you hold back your feelings, the more likely you will be to explode at the wrong time.
Journalling can be an excellent way to release your feelings in a safe space.
#4 Delegate tasks
Don't think that you can do it all. You can't. Ask people for help and delegate tasks.
Do you think you should be able to do it all? If you do, it's time to get a more realistic look at things.
Sometimes we get that feeling after being on social media. People try to put their best face forward. But the image of their lives they make public is not always the truth.
The truth is that behind every successful entrepreneur, every "perfect" mom, every smart businessmen, there is a team of people helping them reach their goals.
No one can completely go it alone.
If you want to do a few small things right, do them yourself. If you want to do great things and make a big impact, learn to delegate.
— John C. Maxwell, American author
#5 Do what you love
If you love to read, make time for it. If you love to play games, find others that do, too. Don't hesitate to make doing what you love a priority in your life.
Everyone needs to have something to look forward to. It could be something small, like a bubble bath at the end of the day. Or, it could be something big you're working towards, like going on a hiking trip with friends.
It's critical that you have a reason for everything you are doing that causes you stress. Read a book, make a scrumptious meal, or just lay in bed watching movies with your partner.
No one gets to weigh in on this but you.
#6 Choose your battles
It is easy to get into a pattern of making everything in life a battle. But are they all worth it? Not likely. Is it really a big deal that your kid dyed his hair green? Not especially. Let him learn for himself. It won't kill him. Pick the battles that are most important and put your focus there. It doesn't hurt to let the little things slide.
Going to battle is a choice
#7 Focus on what you can control
Stop worrying about things you can't control. You know very well that you can't control the weather so stop thinking about it. Plan around it and do what you need to do but don't fret it - it won't change anything.
When you start to feel stress about a situation, ask yourself what is out of your control and what is in it. Once you define the thing you can control about a situation, it is easier to change it.
© 2022 Danielle McGaw