How to Nip Stress in the Bud

If your go-to stress management technique involves indulging in a hefty weekend of cocktail overload after a week of working way too hard, you’re asking for trouble. This too-often used post-panic move will land you in a vicious cycle of working too hard and playing too hard, which, over time, will likely lead to a huge breakdown. Truly de-stressing your life is all about finding a balance. Here are a few pointers for finding that balance and living the stress free, productive life you want.

Get organized. Haven’t used an agenda since elementary school? Now’s the time to grow up. Seeing your calendar is the best way to keep it together “ not just for work, but also your personal life. You might feel stupid writing down a date or party you have to go to, but do it. You’ll feel so much more in control of your day and life when you write everything down. (Plus, crossing things off is super satisfying.)

Allow yourself to feel great about the work you’ve already done. Negative thoughts lead to wasted time, self-loathing and are totally taxing on our immune systems. Productive people think positive. So pride yourself on the positive work you did do and what you really love about yourself. If there’s a voice in your head scolding you for wasting time or not doing something the right way, ask yourself if you would say it to a friend. You probably wouldn’t.

Watch your alone time. The desire to feel on top of your work may make you want to withdraw from friends. Seems like logical thinking, right? Too many social commitments (especially when they come with late nights and hangovers) inevitably cut into your productive-time. But in fact, staving off social contact will make you less productive at work. Think about the one thing that drives you to work hard and smart “ inspiration. You need to go out, do fun things, and see your pals to get that. After you do, you’ll return to work refreshed and feeling great about yourself.

Destress your social life. While socializing is crucial for relaxing and rejuvenating, you need to make sure you’re actually doing that when you go out. Spending time with friends should be about quality, not quantity. Don’t over-commit yourself, or go out knowing that you’re not going to get any sleep if you have a big day tomorrow. Fill your life with love. Any friend who offers you any less than that, you don’t need.

Be who you want to be, and confirm it with everything you do. Anything you really don’t want to do, you shouldn’t do. This goes for taking on extra work, social commitments, or bad habits. If it won’t benefit you in any way “ mind, body, or soul, you don’t need it. Worry you’re being selfish? How about when you drive yourself into overdrive and can’t do anything beside sit on the couch with a bag of chips? No one benefits from that “ not your employer, clients, friends, or boyfriend.

Tags: eliminate stress, stress free living, stress management

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