You forgot to set your alarm last night, and now you’ve overslept.
You rush through your morning routine, panicking. You drop the kids off at school in the nick of time and head to work, only to realize that you’ve left your bag at home, and now you’ll be late for a scheduled work meeting. Perhaps that wouldn’t be so bad if you weren’t the one leading the meeting.
Are you getting stressed just thinking about this?
Unfortunately, a morning like this can ruin a person’s whole day. Stress leads us to make bad decisions, rush through important tasks, and it can even damage our health. For some of us, this level of daily stress has become the norm.
Is stress really normal? How can you cope with it? Let’s find out.
Tips to Deal With Stress
It’s worth noting that serious, ongoing stress can be a sign of an anxiety disorder, which may need medical treatment. However, all of these tips will still contribute to a healthy and happy lifestyle.
Get plenty of sleep.
Stress can keep us awake at night. Unfortunately, insomnia is a common side effect of anxiety.
Getting a good night’s sleep helps to refresh and relax the body. It allows you to approach your problems with a clear mind and plenty of energy in the morning.
Of course, getting plenty of sleep is easier said than done. You may need to tweak your schedule to make sure you get a good night’s sleep - every night.
When we’re stressed, we have a tendency to neglect our personal health. However, this can make us feel even worse. Getting plenty of sleep is part of a healthy lifestyle, but so is eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, exercising, and proper hygiene.
If you notice that you’re not taking care of yourself properly while you’re stressed, set aside time for self-care. This could be something simple, like a relaxing bath, preparing a healthy, tasty meal, or going for a run.
Eating junk food and avoiding exercise won’t reduce stress. In the long run, it will make you feel more stressed and you might even get ill. A lowered immune system (which can be a side-effect of a bad diet) can increase feelings of stress and anxiety.
Identify causes of stress.
Working out what causes your stress may seem like an obvious solution. However, in our busy, jam-packed lives, it can be hard to properly identify what makes us anxious.
Take time to sit down and outline every aspect of your life which is causing you stress. Once you’ve worked out the root cause of your stress, you can start working on a solution.
For instance, you might feel stressed because you’re working full time, caring for children, organizing your social life, and housekeeping, without any time to yourself. A solution could be to speak frankly to your partner (if you have one), or your children (if they’re old enough). Don’t be afraid to delegate some of your responsibilities.
Prepare for your day in advance.
Last-minute problems can impact your whole day and causes high levels of stress. Preparing for your day in advance can help your day to go smoothly, and save you valuable time.
For instance, keeping a weekly schedule reduces the chance of missing appointments or important tasks. Meal prepping for the week means that you don’t need to come home tired and cook a meal from scratch.
Preparation is especially important in the mornings. For most of us, mornings are very busy. A household full of people is trying to get ready and out of the door. If you can, plan your breakfast, your outfit, and the time you need to leave the night before. Double-check that your alarm is set properly (I think we’ve all made this mistake!).
With your morning well-planned, you might even be able to find a few minutes to yourself before you begin your day.
Keep a journal.
Keeping a journal won’t work for everyone, but it can help you to work out your emotions and priorities in your own head. Putting what you want and what is stressing your out down on paper can help you to understand how you really feel.
Some people find that keeping a journal soothes them, and it can be a rewarding hobby. Bullet journals can help to organize your schedule, and creative journals are perfect for artists and creative people.
Have daily “no-screen time”.
Social media can be a fantastic tool. It connects us with friends and family all over the world and can give us a sense of belonging.
However, there is a dark side to social media. Confronted with endless pictures and videos of seemingly perfect lives, we may begin to feel unhappy, inadequate, or even lonely. Too much social media can certainly be a bad thing - and it’s also addictive.
Scrolling through Instagram or Facebook posts late into the night is not productive. Phone and laptop screens can also make it more difficult to fall asleep.
Open up to trusted friends.
It can be difficult, or even embarrassing, to admit we’re suffering from stress. The last thing we might want to do is to talk to our loved ones about it.
Frankly, opening up to your trusted friends and family can be the best thing you’ve ever done. Your loved ones might offer help, advice, or just a listening ear. Talking about how you feel can go a long way to making you feel better. The problem may not go away, but you will feel heard.
Managing Long-Term Stress
Getting rid of stress isn’t always as easy as getting plenty of sleep and talking to your loved ones. Long-term stress can be caused by many things, like an ongoing health concern or an anxiety disorder. It can be terrifying, upsetting, and overwhelming.
Taking care of yourself is never the wrong thing to do. When you feel overwhelmed, do something you love, something you know will distract you. This could be self-care, baking, or simply going out with the people you love.
The point is to tell yourself that you are worth it, and it will get better.