‘I feel stressed.’ — Has there ever been a person who didn’t utter this sentence, or a variation of it, at least once in their lifetime? Probably not.
Stress has become so much a part of our every day, that we’ve almost accepted it as a necessary evil of the modern age. When you want to handle work, having a family, having time for friends and all other things you find satisfaction in life, more often than not, you’ll end up uttering that sentence as you try to balance everything.
For some people, stress can be like an acquaintance. They run into each other a couple of times a year, say a quick “hi” and just move along.
For some people, it’s like that annoying neighbor you see a couple of times a month and can’t get rid of until they’re done telling you all their life updates.
For some people, stress is like a loud, nosy roommate or a (soon-to-be-ex) partner that refuses to move out.
Most of us, are going to experience some kind of stresslationship during our lifetime.
So, if you’re already in a relationship with stress, here’s how the two of you can break up:
When it comes to stress, most people bring it on themselves by setting unrealistic expectations in life. You can’t exactly cram everything you want to do in one day, just because you’d like to do it then, or feel like you should — or rather, yes, you can cram everything into one day, but then you’re going to end up spending most of that day with your least favorite companion — stress. You should set realistic goals for yourself, without trying to micromanage every single minute of your day. Leave some stuff for tomorrow, and open up some room in the day for you to just sit down and breathe. While we sometimes feel like we can’t leave stuff for tomorrow when they can be done today, it’s the wrong perception — we only have it because we want to be perfect at everything we do, whether that’s taking care of our family, our business ventures, or both. Perfection doesn’t exist in this day and age, so trying to meet your unrealistic expectations is just an invitation for stress to move in with you.
Learn to say no!
Say no, without explaining yourself. Ok, when it comes to work, for example, you’ll probably have to explain yourself because your boss will expect you to — but you still need to learn how to say no. When you have too much on your plate, you’re the only one who will be able to tell whether you can take something else on, without damaging your well-being, or if you need to turn down an offer. This can be a new task at work, a night out with friends, or a family get-together. You might feel pressure to say yes, or you might even want to say yes, but if you know it’s going to take away time that you currently don’t have, and that it means you’ll be buried under piles of stress later, you should say NO. There’s going to be other opportunities but you can’t get back those moments of stress that can heavily impact your overall health. Put yourself first, and learn the most magical word — no.
Take a break.
Sometimes, even 5 minutes of peace is enough to clear your head. We can all get overwhelmed at times, whether it’s because of a screaming toddler at home or a screaming boss at work. It’s more than okay to take a breather when you feel like you can’t take anymore. Everything you need to do will still be there later, waiting for you, but you’ll be refreshed and feel much better after resting a bit, which means it will be that much easier to take on anything else. In case you haven’t already, make sure to try some of the meditations or breathing exercises available in the Bellabeat app. In addition to this, take a break… from social media! Try to stop yourself from checking Facebook or Instagram the first thing in the morning. Of course, you’ll start the day stressed when you wake up and immediately you’re hit with all the world news (which is seldom good, unfortunately). Don’t let your phone take over your life, make sure you take breaks from using technology with a screen.
Say what you (actually) mean.
We tend to keep our real opinions to ourselves in order to keep the peace and happiness around us — but sometimes that ends up doing more harm than good. In the end, you just bottle up your feelings and swallow them down, so they end up eating you up from the inside. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean your feelings are magically gone — they’re still there, and they're a ticking time bomb. Once all these times when you swallowed your true feelings and opinions add up, you’re eventually going to explode. You might even explode for something that isn’t such a big deal, just because it’s the drop that spilled the glass over. If that happens, you risk ruining your relationships with others — both personal and professional, and it’s not something you can easily take back. That’s why it’s better to calmly and with patience explaining your difference of opinion (or whatever is bothering you) instead of accumulating these bad feelings over time. Sure, it might be a difficult conversation, it might make things awkward for a bit, and the person might not (initially!) be happy with what you say but in the long run, you will have done yourself, and the other person, better than keeping quiet could ever do. Eventually, they’ll see it that way as well, so just speak your mind — it will help you sleep better.
Divorce your work.
Loving your job is one thing, working hard is another, but if you’re married to your desk and have no life outside the company, you’ll end up stressed and depressed. The same goes for stay-at-home mothers! You work hard all day —taking care of the house, your children, your partner — you probably never actually hit the off button. Regardless of whether you work in the office, or not, everyone needs to have some me-time. Something to look forward to at the end of a long day. We believe achieving life balance is vital for overall well-being and for leading a healthy and happy life — that means you need to make time for your own needs without feeling guilty about it!
Say goodbye to multi-tasking!
Ever tried driving, talking on the phone and putting on mascara all at the same time? Yeah, that’s not such a good thing. Multi-tasking was always seen as a beneficial skill when it comes to work and life in general. In theory, it sounds like you're capable of doing many things at once — which we’re sure you can, but it comes at a price. Multi-tasking means that your effort is split between different tasks, which also means that you’ll do every task half as good as you would if you focused only on one thing at a time. Along with that, you’ll just stress yourself out switching between different things and feeling pressured to finish everything as soon as possible. Just focus on one thing at a time, and you’ll lessen the pressure (and stress!) you feel, as well as be able to give more attention to your work — which will likely yield better results in the end as well.
We’re all leading very hectic lives, trying to keep up with the modern times. From the moment we wake up, we’re bombarded with information on social media so the stress immediately sets in, and the way the rest of our days unfold the stress simply piles on. Many young people nowadays are running their health by taking on more stress than they can actually handle — and then it manifests itself physically through worsened health conditions.
It’s time you break up with stress — for good! We hope these tips help you make it a clean-cut exit.