Top 8 Tips for Handling Stress
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, too much to do, exhausted is becoming normal then read on.
I’ve spoken to lots of people recently about handling stress. These are people who look calm and composed on the outside. Inside, they’re feeling stressed, under pressure and generally not handling things as well as it would seem to the outside world.
The effects of stress can be hugely detrimental. In work we can do that wonderful thing of “keeping calm under pressure”. It certainly looks good on a CV but it’s not looking so good on your health, inside your head and even in your house.
Often we feel stress and pressure by things that we are unable to control. Maybe it’s demands from the boss, the family, the ‘expectation’ of perfect. Can you really control that? Maybe you’re already working long hours and then the prospect of actually having time off over the holiday period puts even more pressure on you. I don’t know, but you do. If you give yourself time to recognise just how you feel and how well you are handling stress in your daily life.
Stress is attributable to both perceived pressure and real circumstances and events. What can you do about it?
Oh I know. Before you sigh and move on to flick through your social media, stay with me. Breathing with a very long outward breath is one of THE BEST THINGS to calm your internal fight flight response. Really. So, big deep breath in where your belly feels pushed out. Hold for a second or two then a long steady breath outwards until you feel you can breathe out no more. Do that a few times. It really does help to handle stress and other negative feelings.
2. Share the Calendar
Get yourself, your family, your office — or even all of them — a diary or schedule. Not electronic, on paper — it’s more tricky to do this with an electronic calendar. Everyone can see at a glance what’s going on, who is going where, doing what and exactly what space and time you have. Other people can see how much you’ve got going on too (yes, dear partners sometimes need this putting in front of them!!).
3. Learn to Say NO!
I say this so many times. It’s just NO. Not NO with a reason or excuse (that just gives people an opening to try and persuade you otherwise!). Practice saying no. Recognise what feeling comes up with you if you must, but practice saying no.
4. Clear Up and Clear Out
When we are feeling stressed and overwhelmed we often feel our head is cluttered. Having a cluttered desk or busy workspace does not help that either. It will pay benefits if you take a little bit of time to tidy up, clear out and get some of the organisation and structure into your working area. When you feel in control of your surroundings, you’ll be able to think more clearly and work more effectively.
5. Beware of the Drains
Stress and overwhelm brings on a lot more negativity, whinging and moaning and you know what! It’s really draining. Think radiators and drains. You want people are you who radiate warmth, positivity, support and lift your spirits. Stay away from the drains if you can. If you can’t stay away from them then learn to tune out and just smile at them! After all, you’ve got enough going on, you don’t need to be handling their stress too!
6. Take Care of Yourself.
It’s really important to take care of yourself. How can you be there for everyone else if you’re run down, shattered, falling asleep on the sofa or even poorly? It’s not selfish. It’s like an investment in yourself, an energy boost so you can go for longer and do more or think of it like a supercharge to your fuel levels. You can check out my blog on self care ideas that are easy to fit into your busy life.
7. Ask for Help
It’s really OK to ask for help. Being strong does not mean doing everything yourself. One of the greatest skills of any leader is the art of delegation. So delegate. Whether that’s from your staff, your co-workers, your family, please ask for help. You never know, someone might even feel honoured to be asked! That way, you handle stress better, they feel helpful too.
8. Recognise What You Need
What’s important is that you know — or — take some time to have a look at yourself and begin to learn what’s going on in your life. What lifts you up and what drags you down. I know that I love being around people but I also know I need time on my own to replenish my energy levels. When you begin to learn what things drain you, what radiates energy in you and what are the best ways for your feel energised again, then you know exactly what to do to keep you at the top of your game!
Recognise you need to do something about your stress rather than trying to carry on and pretend everything’s OK. Get help, support and more training in my Facebook Group — Women in Successful Blissness.
Previous version originally published at www.emmalangton.co.uk