Stress is not your friend

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Do you ever get moments, days or weeks when it seems like you are walking in quicksand? When you feel like you are running faster and faster, but getting nowhere and no progress is being made.  You feel like even though you are getting so much work done, there is still so much more left to do. These are usually the times when we are so completely overwhelmed that we can’t possibly see any way out of it. There are so many euphemisms for this. “your plate is full, ” your cup runneth over”, “you are over scheduled.”

I just call it plain old being stressed out.

This is not a good feeling and definitely not good for you, your health or those around you. Hence the title of the post because stress is definitely not your friend.

As a rule, I just don’t get stressed out and I refuse to be stressed out. This is a rule that I had established for myself some time ago. When I do get stressed, it is usually because I have not done all the things that I have set up over time in my life to avoid it. Some people work well under stress and yes I get it. But others like me, not so much because stress can have physical and psychologic manifestations. For me, it leads to lack of sleep, unattractive dark circles under my eyes, headaches, gastritis, weight loss, hair loss, irritability .and quick to temper/anger. A lot of current studies are now showing associations with developing cancers.

Over the past few years, I have figured out some relatively easy things to do to prevent stress so that I can function better. I will share them here and hope it helps someone.

1 – Never wait until the last minute. In other words, don’t procrastinate. What I do is, if I have a deadline in 7 days. It could be a paper due for school, a presentation at work, I give myself 5 days to be done. So I have 2 extra days to relax and put finishing touches if needed. I like to do many dry runs to make sure it all goes smoothly. I never wing anything.

2 – Make lists. See my previous post (I have lists for my lists). I cannot stress enough the importance of this. Say you have a party planned at your house or have company coming to stay with you or dinner guests, it is important to list everything you need way in advance. And I mean everything. From listing the menu for each day and each meal for your house guests, to grocery lists. And I go further and list everything I need to do to prep the house – bed linens, towels, toothpaste, soap, toilet paper, check light bulbs, clean etc. It is so easy to forget something if not listed. Again get everything on your list ahead of time (see #1 above) and so the day or two leading up to the event is about relaxing and getting last minute things done

3 – Make sure to prep ahead. If you’re cooking for the party or guests, make some of your menu items ahead of time. Do all of the chopping and dicing the day before. This gives you so much more time on the day of. When I have houseguests, I don’t want to be tied to the kitchen the entire time making breakfast, lunch and dinner because then you are not enjoying your company. So I make some dishes ahead and freeze, so that all I have to do is heat it  up. I also plan for my out of town guests to have one or two dine out meals, where we either order in from a restaurant or go out to eat. Catering if you can afford it is also a great alternative. And if it’s family or close friends visiting, you can share cooking responsibility with them unless you are like me and don’t want anyone in your kitchen

4 – Find quiet time for yourself, deep breathing, meditation, yoga or exercise. These are all proven ways to de stress. I always try to do any of these prior to any major event or when I start to find myself overwhelmed. It grounds me and allows me to re focus on what needs to be done

I believe that these 3 techniques above are so important to all of our wellbeing and hope you agree. Please feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts.

As always, thanks for reading

J

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6 thoughts on “Stress is not your friend

  1. I’m a BIG procrastinator. Have been my whole life. One of the many ways I procrastinate is by making & remaking & remaking & remaking lists. Once a list is made, I’ll think “OK. That’s done. I’ll tackle the actual list tomorrow.” LOL

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