How do I handle stress: work or personal?

Some background, some drama

Feeling stressed in today’s society is pretty much inevitable. But how stressed you get or how often this happens are two things that you can have a great influence over. Without smart habits for dealing with situations that could be stressful life can be a whole lot more burden some than it needs to be. You may feel tired before the week has barely begun. Be overwhelmed on a daily basis. Get an upset stomach, headaches or migraines too often and even start to feel burned out. Demeanour turned from always positive to a growing streak of negativism? Have problems sleeping? Feelings of frustration? These are all signs of stress.

Do’s and Don’ts

You can't truly prepare for every stressful encounter, but you can keep in mind the basic ways to handle it when they come. The “How Do I" series tries to list down a few Do’s and don’ts to guide and help you to handle and manage stress.

Do’s

  • Do only one thing at a time. You feel much better and more relaxed.
  • Keep your daily to-do list very short to avoid being stressed and overwhelmed.
  • Communicate well with people. You’ll have a lot less unnecessary conflicts and negativity.
  • Balance fully focused work with complete rest. This helps to relax and avoid stress building up during the day.
  • Set clear boundaries for your day. It’s important to have a good balance between work and rest.
  • Disconnect over the weekend. Have fun, chill out and forget your work woes.
  • Make sure you take time to do what you love to do. Hobbies, learning new skills, meeting friends…make time for all this.
  • Learn to Delegate. You don’t have to do everything yourself. Re-evaluate what you usually do and see if there is something you would like to stop doing.
  • First get done with something that stressed or bothers you. An unfinished task can cause quite a bit of stress and negativity within.
  • Talk it out with someone to vent out your frustrations.
  • Force yourself to slow down till your thoughts become clearer.
  • Go small; narrow your focus and just take care of today. Then you can take care of tomorrow when it comes.
  • Breathe, release the stress and calm your mind and body down. Get enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise well.

Dont’s

  • Don’t make mountains out of molehills. Don’t create extra drama, overthink or create a problem out of something that doesn’t matter much.
  • Don’t neglect yourself. Listen to yourself. When you are starting to feel drained, more irritable and creativity plummets take care of yourself.
  • Don’t live in the past. Move on. Choose to spend more of your day and time in the present moment.
  • Don’t keep trying for perfection. This will only lead to frustration and stress.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for help. You don’t have to control or micromanage all the time.
  • Don’t let the negative voice in your head spiral out of control — talk to yourself in a logical, gentle tone.
  • Don’t project your stress onto others — speak in a calm, controlled way.

Last words

Stress is something we've certainly talked about before, but it can be a major part of our lives, especially the surprise attacks. Get acquainted with your stress signals and take a few deep breaths. There's nothing wrong with talking to someone about what's stressing you out. Keep a level head, re-define your stress, and remember that it doesn't help to put your stress on others.

Sources and citations