Do you ever get so overwhelmed with all the stuff you have going on in your mind and on your to do list that you can’t even focus? Sometimes I get so stressed. I feel like I can’t handle one more thing or I’m going to snap. I feel like the world is closing in around me and like there is no way out, like everything is going to crumble. This is what happens when I try putting everything on my own shoulders. I realize I do this to myself. I don’t think I’m the only one who does this, am I?
Well, I’ve been practicing ways to squash the anxiety and stress that I create for myself and I’d like to share what I’ve learned thus far. If you find this useful, please share and please let me know.
Ten Tips for Minimizing Stress and Anxiety
Tip #1 Do a brain dump. Make a list of all the things that are on your mind. If it crosses your mind write it down.
Tip #2 Go through your brain dump and create categories, sometimes I do this while writing them down. I sometimes create sections like home, work, random thoughts, projects.
Tip #3 Look for the items you can delegate. Is yard work on your list, is it possible to have someone else in the house handle it or what about hiring an outside service?
Tip #4 Identify most meaningful items that are actionable. It is amazing how much it helps with stress and anxiety to make progress on something important. Thus make sure for each day you have at a minimum one meaningful item on your list, up to three is max. These are items that help you reach bigger goals, not the mundane stuff that weighs us down.
Tip #5 Schedule the mundane items. One example of this is my Saturday morning cleaning schedule. I schedule 7-12 to clean. I use to do this religiously and it made a huge impact and thus I’m going back to it. Having a deadline made me focus more and it was amazing what I could get done. As soon as 12:00 hit, I was free to be with family and do fun things without guilt or nagging chores calling. This method works great with all kinds of tasks, just don’t get carried away scheduling yourself.
Tip #6 Patience, remind yourself that Rome was not built in a day, and the challenges in life won’t be solved in a day either. Take it one task and one day at a time and focus on what you can control right now, not tomorrow.
Tip #7 Make self-care a priority. It is amazing how something as simple as coffee with a friend can help alleviate stress. Make time for you, it is important.
Tip #8 Keep clutter at bay. It makes a difference. Studies have shown that clutter increases stress and anxiety, so do your best to minimize clutter.
Tip #9 Avoid perfectionism. Sometimes we want to obsess over completing a task versus recognizing when we have hit good enough and can move on. It feels good to let go.
Tip #10 Processes and routines. This is sort of related to schedules, but a bit different. If there is something you can create a process or routine for than do it. For example during your scheduled 7-12 cleaning time create a routine for what you will do first, second, and so on. By doing this when it’s cleaning time you will find you are actually more relaxed while doing the task. You might even find you go on auto pilot. This takes practice to implement and to be honest it is something I want to do during my 7-12 cleaning.
These tips have really helped me improve my stress and anxiety levels. I still have my days where I totally freak out, but a lot fewer. I’m still working to master these tips myself. It takes time and practice. I hope this helps!