Are you depressed? Is your work and life deteriorating? Are you always tired? Are you increasingly detached displaying cynicism, impatience, irritability, anger, and the like? These are red flags indicating that you are likely approaching a state of burnout. Particularly in my coaching with busy executives, this subject invariably comes up. It really applies to all of us. Here are some tips I have used to help myself and others relieve stress.
Get a complete physical. Getting an accurate picture of your health should be your first step. Weight, cholesterol, blood chemistry, and the like can signal problems beyond the ordinary, and it is known that many cancers were preceded by large amounts of stress. Get professional medical advice and then follow it.
Exercise and rest. For as many people that know they should do this, too many don’t until the problems become too great. Start with a little program, be it just a walk, but do something now. And by all means, follow your doctor’s orders.
Give up the quest for perfection. Excellence trumps perfection anytime as seeking perfection is guaranteed to produce stress and frustration. Stop beating yourself and others up when failing to attain it.
Learn to say “No!” Whether you are homemaker or an executive, trying to be all things to all people turns you either into an “enabler” who stifles other’s growth or someone who probably can’t deliver on everything and thus disappoints others and creates guilt within you.
Take breaks during the day. Take a 10-minute power nap or a walk at lunch time. Do you think that many years of working through your breaks is going to somehow reward you some day? If so, your reward might be an early grave.
Eat sensibly. Now a majority of Americans are digging their graves with the teeth. Super-sizing portions, lots of bad fats, caffeine, sugars, and not eating a balanced diet are just part of the problem. The other part is that the “good foods” no longer have their nutrients because of depleted soil. You likely should be taking natural supplements and consuming plenty of clean water.
Rid yourself of toxic relationships. Certain people will draw energy from you and may actually make you sick. Audit your relationships and jettison those really toxic people out of your life or at least put them at bay where you don’t have to deal with them regularly. It is OK to do it with remorse, but not guilt.
Turn off the television and radio more often. Watch any news program and your blood pressure will likely rise. New organizations are scouring the world to cover news and the vast majority of it focuses upon the bad. It’s spiritually akin to drinking contaminated water, sooner or later you get really sick. Instead take a walk or talk with a friend or loved one, practice a relaxation technique such as meditation or yoga, especially when you feel stress coming on. Go out and dance, or listen to music you enjoy. Read, paint, draw or take time to help someone less fortunate that you.
Take a time management course in which you learn to prioritize and de-clutter your life. Getting control of your calendar can do wonders to help relieve your stress.
Practice balance in your life as you take time to make time with family, sports, spiritual activities, hobbies, exercise, learning and any other activities that take you away from the daily grind.
I promise you that the above ten suggestion will, indeed, reduce your stress!