Wednesday, March 6, 2013

10 Tips for Stress Management

Ann Gatty Dr. Ann Gatty coaches individuals in stress management strategies and building life transitions to balance personal and professional goals. Visit her website, to learn more about stress managementtools, stress reducing tips, and information to help women, moms and teens effectively manage their daily stressors so that they can reach their full potential in their personal and professional lives.

These ten tips for stress management are designed for you to incorporate into your daily routine. Everyone reacts to stress differently, but we all know that if we do not address the negative influences of stress, our bodies, work and relationships will take a toll. Review these suggestions and decide which are best for you to use to lower and manage the stressors you are currently experiencing.

1. Start the morning by awakening 15 minutes earlier so that you are not as rushed. You will be surprised how much more relaxed you feel when the clock is not your enemy. You might even have time for a more nutritious breakfast.

2. Make your wardrobe decisions for your next day, before you turn in the night before. If you have children attending school, choose their clothes and set them out the night before. Mornings go a lot smoother when you are not staring in your closet wondering what to wear. Time is saved, and you will appreciate the little extra time it took to prepare yesterday evening.

3. We know that exercise helps relieve stress by helping rid the body of stress hormones. Why not park your car a little farther from the entrance to your work or take the stairs rather than an elevator when you can. A walking break at lunch is also a great way to add a little exercise to your daily routine.

4. Be realistic about how much time a task takes to complete. Rushing through tasks leads to mistakes, rushing from appointment to appointment leads to excess stress and feelings of guilt if you can’t be everything to everyone who asks. Saying “No” to taking on additional commitments that exceed your time availability is a good way to curb over scheduling.

5. When you are feeling stressed, you are likely to be taking more shallow breaths. Taking a deep breath is an instant way to release tension and stress. More oxygen is able to flow to the cells in your body. Take a deep breath by inhaling through your nose, into the depth of your lungs and feel your abdomen expand. Slowly exhale through your mouth, emptying your lungs completely. Try three deep breaths and notice how you feel more relaxed and energized. This is a great stress buster to incorporate into your workday as you feel your stress level rising.

6. Complete One Task At A Time -tasking leads to errors and extra stress. You may think that you are being more efficient by trying to attend to two tasks at the same time, but the brain works more effectively when it can concentrate and focus on one thing at a time. Establish a priority list and move through the list giving each task the attention that it deserves. You will find your work will be less likely to have errors, and you can enjoy a productive and effective work process.

7. Take a Break - Your body and brain need a break from work to rejuvenate and re-energize. Concentrating on a project takes energy! Get up and walk around, stretch, and let your mind rest before returning and refocusing on the task at hand. You will feel renewed, refreshed and ready to tackle your assignments with less stress and fatigue.

8. Eat Well - Your body needs healthy nourishment to function properly. Planning ahead allows you to create healthy menus that provide the nutrition to keep your body energized and your mind alert. Pack some healthy snacks to enjoy when you feel that mid-morning or mid-afternoon energy slump. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts and water are all great energy boosters which provide your body with the fuel to keep going in fine shape.

9. Build In Sleep Time - We never seem to get enough sleep these days. When you are scheduling your time, don’t forget to block out 7-9 hours for your daily sleep time. An hour before you are ready to turn in, start preparing for sleep. Create a soothing atmosphere with relaxing music, and more quiet activities to calm your body down.

10. Enjoy Your Friends - Make time to keep up with friends and family so that you can maintain a healthy support network. Friends are important to share your concerns and your success stories. Having someone with whom you can discuss situations that are causing you stress and finding the needed support to handle challenges as they arise is a necessity. Sharing a good laugh is a great way to release stress, and there is no one better than a friend to encourage such camaraderie.

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