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Stress management is something we should practice every day. Instead, what most of us do is brush our stress under the rug or let it bubble up to the surface and explode. Instead, we could practice self-care by implementing breathing exercises, mindfulness, and a positive mindset into our daily routine. This way, stress becomes less of an everyday routine, and you become a more grounded and calm person. So, how can you practice stress management? Well, today on La.Rue, I want to share with you 7 ways you can EASILY reduce your everyday stress by employing simple calming tactics. These tactics will help you to regain your balance, continue to be productive, and most of all, manage your stress with great self-care.
Practice Relaxation Techniques
There are several ways you can practice relaxation techniques that work quickly. When you’re feeling overwhelmed or stress is coming on, close your eyes and practice taking deep breaths for a minute. You’d be surprised at how much this can relax you in a few minutes. If you have an Apple Watch, you can change the settings to remind you to breathe. If you don’t, set a notification on your phone once or twice a day. This will be the simple reminder (we sometimes don’t know we need) to take a quick step back and breathe for a moment to regain our balance.
I will never stop preaching the importance of journaling. I cannot tell you how much change I’ve seen in myself since I started using the 6-Minute Diary. By journaling each day, I’m able to see both the positives and negatives of my day. My favorite thing about the journal, especially when I’ve had a bad or stressful day, is even when I’m journaling about the stress, the journal makes me aware that tomorrow is a new day. Over time, looking back through the journal, I see where I’ve changed naturally and where I can continue to change. All the while getting to track my progress in this journal. I look forward to doing my journal every day; it’s a gift to watch yourself grow.
Be Mindful of What’s Causing Your Stress
Are you unorganized? Too overwhelmed? Are you working too much? What is the cause of your primary stressor, and what can you do to work on it? How can you get organized? I recommend the La.Rue Daily & Weekly Planning Pages! My recommendation is to evaluate projects based on importance and due date and work from there. Don’t work too far into the future that you’re putting more stress on yourself in the present. Evaluate your stress and consider what stress you’re causing on your own and what you can do to reduce it. Step back from the situation to analyze and make changes; you’ll become more productive and motivated on the other side. If your stress is coming from outside of school and work, see what you can do to address that.
Tackle Things One at A Time
The biggest stressor in my own life is overwhelming myself with too much or too many projects, and then I don’t know where to begin. I’ve become better at it with time, implementing these tactics in my own life, but I’m definitely guilty of overwhelming myself. When I feel the stress really setting in, I sit back and evaluate. I know it will all get done and doesn’t have to be done today. I evaluate which projects have the most importance and where I should start. I break down a project as much as I can, step-by-step, so I can see progress being made, and I know I’m working toward a result. Being overwhelmed can be the worst stressor, but when you break things down, your stress level lowers, and your work is organized, so you see progress and enjoy the smaller wins.
Meditation is another fantastic relaxation technique. It’s my personal favorite when I need a brain break. Meditating helps me clear my head of all thoughts, especially those stressing me out, and focus on connecting with my body and mind. Whether you’re in an office space, working from home, in a school library, or a breakroom; wherever you are, try to find a place of solitude that you can retreat to every so often. Meditating for just ten minutes a day is beneficial to your productivity, concentration, and motivation to work. So if you’re still feeling overwhelmed after organizing and breaking down your projects, try a meditation exercise for ten minutes.
Know When Your Work is UNPRODUCTIVE
There is a line between laziness and what I like to call “unproductivity,” and it’s not very thin. We all reach a point of excessive exhaustion to the point where self-care means you need to step back, close your computer, and go relax because your to-do list will be there tomorrow when you can actually accomplish something. There is nothing worse than sitting at your computer for two hours and accomplishing nothing when you know you should have been practicing self-care. You need to know at what point is it better to walk away. I know that guilty feeling can set in, but we have to take care of ourselves. What’s the point of sitting at our desks and doing work that’s unproductive and will potentially need to be re-done? It’s ALWAYS better to walk away, take care of yourself, and start again tomorrow, refreshed and ready to be productive.
Make Sure You’re Well Fed & Hydrated
It sounds simple, but many of us forget our bodies need nutrition and hydration to keep us productive throughout the day. Keep a bottle of water on your desk all day. I recommend the Arc Water Bottle with noted times to drink throughout the day. It’s helpful to remind you to keep drinking water and get your recommended intake for the day. If you’re not working from home and bringing lunch with you or going out for your lunch, make sure you’re eating well at lunch and getting the nutrients your body needs to stay focused.
Overall, I’m sure we all could use a little de-stressing. I know this may seem like a lot, but just start with one of these techniques. Next time you’re feeling stressed at work, think about which of these tactics would best help YOU lower your stress level, relax, and refocus. It’s important to enjoy your time at work and not stress about getting through the day; you don’t want to be miserable when you’re working. So if those feelings arise, take a breath, meditate, or reorganize. As simple as it seems, it will help you recenter, find balance, and re-ground yourself for the rest of your day.