Stress is what happens when we stop doing the things that sustain us in managing our busy lifestyles. There are many things we can do that will enhance our ability to manage the stress in our personal life. Our ability to deal with pressures will be improved when you remember to do the following:
Know your limits
Knowing your limits means that you realise that you cannot do everything. You can shop online for groceries, ask for help, hire in a cleaner for a couple hours weekly, and cook in bulk so Bolognese is for tonight, but also Lasagne two days later with extra for the freezer. Get your partner and children to share the work load, kids love to earn stars with a reward at the weekend. Make a request and ensure you acknowledge their efforts; and they will do more!
Name your feeling
Acknowledging how you feel is important so stating: ‘I’m feeling stressed financially’ allows you to name the feeling, to claim it as being only about you and also to tame it ‘what actions can I take here. You may reduce spending, talk to your bank, seek support etc.
Take time for pleasure
At the end of a long day, treat yourself to a relaxing candlelit bath and a scented body lotion for pampering. You work hard, you deserve a break and to treat yourself well. Lie down and take a few moments to read a favourite book, to listen to some beautiful music or to mediate. We need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of others, conflict ensues when we neglect our needs and we end up cranky, irritable and impatient. Take time for yourself, to sustain you, to relax and to recharge.
Be in touch with your needs and meet them
If you feel anxious or overwhelmed, ask yourself ‘What is it I need to do for myself’? It may be to express some of your concerns, to close your eyes and practice some relaxation exercises, to do something else to take your mind off things, to write a list or to ask for help. Think about what helps you cope with pressure and resolve to do the things that build you up to meet those challenges.
Get out – you need Time Out!
Time and time again, I am told that taking just one hour a week to meet a friend, to walk to a class, enjoy time for friendship and an activity you enjoy, makes such a difference in being better in oneself. Support your partner to do the same, so he gets to the gym and another evening you take time out for you. So many people are not having any of their needs met and wonder why they are stressed! We have needs: Physical needs for exercise, for rest, Emotional needs: To connect with a friend or partner, to express some of what we are feeling, Social needs: to stay in touch with old friends and feel connected, Intellectual needs: Whether its a book club, or starting a course, it is our responsibility to meet our needs so we can meet the needs of others at work and at home.
DO, DELAY, DELEGATE, DUMP
Finally, to remember this: You do not have to do everything; there are things you need to
- Some you may need to DELAY
- Others you need to DELEGATE
- And finally, some things perhaps you may need to DUMP!