Feeling stressed? Here are 10 stress management and relaxation tips that can help you regain control of your life.
When you feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish all the tasks on your to-do list, it’s time to pause and reconsider everything.
Sometimes one or two tiny changes in your daily routine can greatly reduce the amount of stress you are exposed to… and who wouldn’t want that?
I dare you to read through this page and select two of these stress management and relaxation tips.
Implement these relaxation tips for at least 21 days and see how enjoyable (and less stressful) your life can be with a little more planning, organization and relaxation time.
Stress Management and Relaxation Tips Related to Organization
We’re all guilty of this from time to time:
Seem familiar? Think about what you do with your mail, shopping bags, dirty dishes, receipts, etc. Although it may seem counter-intuitive at first, you should take the extra seconds needed to put these things in their rightful place the first time around.
- Tip #1. Organize your life. Start by de-cluttering your home. It may take a while to get there, but do it one small area at a time (one drawer, one closet, or one whole room if you feel up to the task!) Schedule one hour per week on this task until you’ve gone through the entire house.
Old magazines from 10 years ago? Recycle them or donate them to an organization that could use them. Toys your grown-up kids no longer want? Donate them to another family. Old tax receipts? Check with your local government, but you should be able to shred them after a set amount of years.
Why bother you say? When things are where they should be (and aren’t obstructed by other out-of-place items), you’ll save time when trying to find them. Clutter adds to stress levels, whether you want it to or not, so start de-cluttering!
- Tip #2. Organize your mail. Purchase a few mesh stack trays and use them to sort various types of mail (bills to pay, paid bills, school permission slips, invitations, etc.). Subconsciously, when you know that bills won’t be forgotten (or lost!!) you will get rid of some undue stress.
- Tip #3. Plan your week. Get a daily, weekly or to-do list planner like the To Do Pad – Blue by Knock Knock. If your kids are old enough to help, make sure to get them on the chore roster! Don’t forget your husband either!
Spent 15 to 20 minutes each weekend to plan the upcoming week and the tasks that will need to get done. When children know what they need to take care of ahead of time, (and when you assign a reward program with the accomplishment of these tasks – i.e., you can’t go out with your friends until these tasks are completed) you’ll be amazed at how soon these tasks get done!
Relaxation Techniques for Stress Management
Now that we’ve covered some organization-related stress management and relaxation tips, here are more some more general tips:
- Tip #4. Plan your relaxation time. If at all possible, spend 20 minutes per day on something that you find relaxing. Finding the time to do so may first appear impossible but consider these options: Could you set your alarm 20 minutes earlier? Could your husband look after the kids while they bathe? Could you drop the kids off at the mall (in the babysitting area)?
Once you’ve managed to find this 20-minute slot, sit in silence, away from distractions (in the bathroom or in your car perhaps?) and simply focus on your breathing. Of course, you can use this time to meditate, read a book, or do any other activity you find relaxing.
- Tip #5. Keep a gratitude journal. First thing in the morning or last thing before going to bed, take a few minutes to write down how your feel and what you are thankful for in your life (your health, the roof over your head, your friends, your bed, your ability to buy clothing, food on the table, etc.)
You don’t need anything fancy here. For example, you could use the Moleskine notebook shown above or a notebook from a nearby dollar store.
- Tip #6. Avoid traffic jams and crowds. Of course, some of this is unavoidable, but can you reschedule some of your daily or weekly tasks to avoid stress related to wasting time in traffic jams or stressful, overly crowded places?
For example, can you do your grocery shopping on a weekday instead of over the weekend? Could you adjust your work schedule to start an hour earlier (and finish an hour earlier)? Could you run your errands after rush hours? If you go out for lunch, could you take your lunch break an hour earlier or later?
More Stress Management and Relaxation Tips
Want more stress management and relaxation tips? Here you go!
- Tip #7. Prioritize. While you enjoy your morning cup of coffee, think about the day in front of you. I’m sure there are many things on your to-do list but what 2 activities MUST be done today? Start by these activities (whether they are exciting or not). It’s amazing how much stress will disappear once you’ve taken care of them.
Of course, you still have the rest of the day to work on other items, but if an emergency occurs later on, at least you’ll know the important tasks were completed.
- Tip #8. Find a positive friend. We all benefit from talking with others, but especially when you talk with positive people. Having a conversation with a depressed or really negative person can truly add stress to your life. If all your friends only focus on the negative side of life, it’s time to find new friends!
If all fails, get a pet and talk to it. It certainly won’t talk back with negative opinions! Of course, you should carefully consider the responsibilities associated with getting a pet, but enjoying animal company and taking a dog out for a walk can be a great way to relieve stress.
- Tip #9. Laugh every day. Find the positive side of any situation, smile and laugh. Nothing funny in your life right now? Watch the comedy channel for a couple of minutes, watch funny cat videos or read funny jokes.
- Tip #10. Get a massage. Ask your partner to give you a massage or book a spa appointment. No money or no one around to give you a massage? You can also teach yourself how to give self-massages.