If you’re like me, you have children who are active with school and friends. My son, who will be 16 in April, is involved with church activities and has a girlfriend, too. I just finished basketball season with my 12-year-old daughter and volleyball season will be starting soon.
Maybe life in general has you feeling stressed. Being a project manager, I bear a lot of responsibility, and with it comes a certain level of stress. Sometimes I stress too much, because I always want to give our clients 110%. They’re the reason our company exists and why I have a job I love.
Recently, I found myself more stressed than ever, and I was letting it affect my life both personally and professionally. It wasn’t the workload, as I was used to being busy and enjoyed it. It wasn’t basketball season, because that gave me two hours I could enjoy with my daughter. So I took a step back to see what I needed to change to relax again. Here’s a list of what I came up with:
Unplug the Electronics
If you’re constantly on your cellphone or laptop, the stress of always checking emails and other notifications can become overwhelming. Unplug the electronics whenever possible, especially during family time. Those emails can wait, I promise! Your family and your sanity will thank you for it.
Go for a Walk
The sounds of birds chirping, cars racing by or just the fresh air is all it takes to clear your mind of whatever may be stressing you out. Even if the day isn’t sunny, just being out of the house makes a world of difference.
Stop Trying to Make Everyone Happy
Say NO occasionally! This is especially important if you’re already under a lot of pressure because of home issues or work deadlines. You’re bound to upset a few people – but that’s their problem, not yours. You’ll add to your stress if you think you must make everyone in your life happy.
This is one of my worst traits. I can organize my desk and get it just the way it needs to be, but within a day it’s back to being a cluttered, chaotic mess. I’ve bought folders and almost every organizational product you can think of, yet I still struggle with this. I’m working hard on this one, since I’m less stressed when my desk is organized. I know where all my account calendars are, and the research I’ve done for them. Now I’m packing for a move in March, so it’s been especially difficult – but after I’ve moved, a desk re-org will definitely be one of my priorities.
Call a Friend for a Calm-Down Session
Don’t bottle your stress up inside. It only makes you feel worse about everything. Have a friend you can call to vent to or get advice from. Sometimes having a person who’s non-judgmental and will tell you straight up what you need to do can make all the difference.
Take a long, hot bath
Grab the bubble bath, kill the electronics and take a long, hot bath. This will relax your muscles and give you quiet time to yourself. Even if it’s just for a short while, it may be just what you need!
Take a day off and get your hair done, get a mani-pedi, or head to the mall and buy some new clothes. Whatever you decide to do, do it for yourself. And make sure the kids aren’t with you!
Use a Journal
One of the most effective tools I’ve found for relieving stress is a journal where I can write down what’s bothering me. Just purchase a cheap notebook and keep it with you every day. You truly can release stress through writing.
We live in a world that’s constantly on the go. It’s important to remember to slow down sometimes and take care of ourselves and our loved ones.