Monday, April 18, 2011

Four Strategies for Less Stress.

If you are anything like me, you may find yourself frustrated from time to time with the mountain of things that need to be done on any given day or week. With three kiddos running around, housework piling up, homeschooling, and running a business, day to day life can seem like mayhem sometimes. I wanted to share a couple of strategies I'm using to help myself remain calm, cool, and collected.

1. Make lists :: with all that stuff swirling around inside my head, I find it super-duper helpful to get it out by writing it down on paper. It is such a distraction to me when I can't shut my brain off, so keeping detailed lists is a must. Plus, there are few things in day to day life that are more gratifying than crossing things off of a list! To be able to look back at the end of the day and see that things were accomplished is a great feeling.

2. Prioritize :: prioritizing doesn't mean that you do the biggest thing first, or the most important thing on your list before you start something new- it means that you do what YOU need to do first, so that you can stop thinking about whatever it is and be more productive as a result. For example, doing schoolwork with my son and general cleaning really needs to be done before I sit down to sew because if it's not I tend to feel rushed, have less patience, and be generally miserable.  

3. Focus on the next thing :: instead of thinking about all the things you need to do, just think about the very next thing you are going to do. Don't focus on the fifteen things that you need to get done in the next eight hours. Instead think, "Okay, when I get done washing the dishes, I'll go to the grocery store." While you are at the market feeling the fruit, limit your brain activity to the next item on your to-do list to reduce anxiety.

4. Take a time-out :: it's all too easy most days to skip meals, forget to sit down, and not drink enough water. I definitely still struggle with this, but it's undeniable that your energy levels will benefit from some protein and your brain will function better with rest. So while taking thirty minutes to eat from a sitting position (instead of on the run) may seem impossible if you are to get everything finished before the sun goes down, you'll actually accomplish more in the long run thanks to that little break.

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