Week 24 – Strategies To Deal With Stress That’s Reached The Danger Zone
If you found yourself concerned with several of the 12 signs of stress from Week 23’s mini assessment, medicine you may have unknowingly drifted into the danger zone of high stress. But now that you’re paying attention, you can take action to deal with stress before it becomes debilitating or leads to burnout.
- Take a few moments when your thoughts are clear (probably early in the morning) and make a list of all the to-do’s on your plate, even those that aren’t causing your stress. Group them into the four following buckets. Then focus your energy on getting the first category done before doing the others. Watch your sense of control increase and stress decrease.
- Important and urgent – family responsibilities
- Important and not urgent – planning a future event
- Not important but urgent – running errands
- Not important and not urgent – shopping for new clothes
- Make time to care for yourself. Often when we’re stressed, the first things to go are exercise, sleep, healthy nutrition and time with loved ones. Make these things a priority to give you the energy you need to do all that needs to be done, at work and at home. Your family and friends are there to help you when you need help. Don’t be afraid to ask.
- Plan 10-20 minutes early in the morning, before your day gets too busy by taking long, deep, relaxing breaths. This will calm your mind and help you start your day feeling more refreshed and less rushed. If possible, do the same thing at night, just before bed to improve your sleep.
- Write down the chatter. Often when we feel stressed, the chatter increases and adds more stress. Write down the things that are occupying your mind to deal with them when you have time, Sort them based on importance and urgency by using the 4 buckets above. You’ll find that it will free you mind and help you feel more in control.
Paying attention to your stress levels when the danger warnings are present is the best investment you can make in your well-being. And if you find that coping with the stresses of life and work becomes too difficult to handle, ask your family, friends and co-workers for help. Find a coach or seek professional help. With stress being a constant in our lives, managing it has become as critical to our well-being as feeding our bodies with healthy foods and staying active.
Dianne is a certified coach who helps individuals thrive as they successfully manage the dynamics of incessant demands and transitions. She is the author of a new book: If There Are No Limits… A guide to living with passion, purpose and possibilities. For more information, visit the book page on this website.