Here are 5 things to help you reduce stress
- Schedule things: we get stressed when we can’t finish things we’ve started, simply because they’re going to take more time than we can manage in one sitting. When you get as far as you can get with something, schedule time to finish the rest. Be realistic, and divide it into smaller bits, if necessary.
- Use your phone calendar for reminders: I do this A LOT! My phone is there not just to text friends and watch videos; I schedule everything that I might forget, or might forget to make time for, and put alarms on the things. It can be calling my mom, what to get at the store, anything. This helps!
- Choose easy tasks to start with, and check them off a list: this is a nice technique to make you feel like you’ve gotten a lot done. Again, this can be the little stuff (water the plants! put a load of laundry in!) but the effect is to make you feel productive, and then when you tackle a longer task, use my number one on this list to finish the rest.
- Take two minutes to breathe. You may not think you have two minutes, but you almost always do. Unless your train is leaving. But most of the time, you are going to be more efficient and more concentrated if you take two minutes to center yourself before you begin. This can be meditation, or just breathing slowly. This is even better in fresh air. (You know those cigarette breaks that smokers take? It’s that, but you don’t have to smoke to get the benefit of a short pause.)
- Send a message to a friend. Talking to them is better, seeing them even better, but sometimes you really don’t have time. But they will see the message, send one back, and you will deal with your stress better because you feel less alone. This also helps maintain friendships during periods of stress. Just a send a little hello (“Hi, super busy, but just thought of you and hope you’re well. Thanks for being my friend!”). I seriously do this, and it seriously helps.
The last thing is find your Foro. My little stuffed cow sits by me while I work and I can take two seconds to give it a hug and I feel less stressed. Pets are even better, but not everyone can manage a pet. However a little thing, something that makes you feel silly and happy like Foro does, really does help me feel less stressed. Because Foro is a zen master.