10 Ways to Minimize Stress

Are you stressed the moment you wake up in the morning?
Do you have the stress at work?
Do you stress about having little time to reconnect with family and friends?
Do you have health concerns?
How do you deal with everyday stress?

Here are ten ways to minimize stress in your life and enjoy some free time.

1) Don’t over-commit yourself to anything.
You don’t always have to tell everyone yes when they ask to volunteer or help out. Set boundaries by choosing only a small number of projects to commit your time and energy to each month. Remember that being kind to others involves taking care of yourself first. If you are worn out you can’t help anyone and you certainly won’t be kind. Often feelings of resentment and anger creep in when you are doing everything for everyone but you. Don’t allow others to manipulate you to feel guilty. Put them kindly in their place by a simple decline and move on. You may actually be helping someone to be more independent in this way by putting them in a position of having to rely on themselves instead of others.

2) Eat right even if you are on the go.
This doesn’t mean that meals have to be complicated. Eat fresh fruit for breakfast, crunch crisp vegetables for lunch with nuts and fruit, and eat a simple whole foods dinner in the evening with your family at the table. This could be grilled chicken or fish, vegetable lasagne, or a fresh salad with your favorite dressing. Cook simple brown rice and vegetables. If the budget allows it, order pizza once a week, eat out, or let the kids cook to give the main cook of the house a break.

3) Keep moving every day.
Do what you can to move your body every day. For some this may mean a morning walk or run, for others it might be yoga or a trip to the gym. If you have a chronic illness or injury that keeps you from exercising then simply do what you can. Ask your Doctor what is permissible for you to do safely. You may be limited to chair exercises or arm exercises but just do what you can to keep moving in a positive way. By moving every day you ward off such diseases as depression, gallbladder disease as well as other gastrointestinal ailments, heart disease, and poor circulation. You keep your brain healthy by practicing coordination and balance.

4) Keep it simple
Have you ever cooked an elaborate dinner then finished it in 15 minutes and wondered why you bothered? Have you gone to extreme lengths to help on a project only to be left behind? Whatever you endeavor to do, keep it simple. Life doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate to enjoy it. Do one thing at a time and do it well but keep it simple.

5) Buy less stuff
No need to keep up with the neighbors. Less stuff doesn’t mean you are deprived. Keep only what you think is important. Buy a few quality things. Instead of having three can openers just in case one breaks, buy one good one that is reliable. When you buy something new get rid of the old version or donate two other things that you don’t need. Less stuff means less to clean up.

6) Keep things in order.
Keeping your home, car, or office in order (not perfect necessarily) is important to reduce stress. Take a look at how a typical day flows and store things in sensible places that are easy to access. If something doesn’t have a place ask yourself if you really need it. You never waste time or run around frustrated because you can’t find anything you need. It also keeps your mind calm to look around and see things are in order. Taking a few minutes a day to clean your space is worth it.

7) Stop thinking like a Royal.
Give up the idea that life should be a fairytale. Get rid of the princess dress that collects dust in the closet. Stop buying things you will never use just because marketing tells them you need them to be happy. Sell the big house that causes you more stress than happiness. A simple life is surprisingly joyous when you lose the illusions.

8) Take time for yourself without guilt.
The greatest gift you can give is some time for yourself. Take time every day to sit quietly or to pamper yourself in small ways. See where you can take a few moments to do something you enjoy. When you make time for yourself you don’t feel as stressed.

9) Ease into the day.
Get up early to ease into the day. Instead of jumping out of bed and out the door in five minutes take time to sit down for a cup of coffee before everyone else gets up. Use this time to think about all the things that are going right for you.

10) Embrace routines.
Routines may seem boring or needless to you but they get the job done without needless worry. A standard morning and evening routine helps things go smoothly all day and you sleep better at night. Not everything has to be a routine but when things get crazy it’s comforting to know that there are a few things that you can rely on.

Minimize stress by following some of these simple solutions. The best stress buster is to smile and have fun. Don’t worry about being perfect or keeping up with the neighbors. Enjoy the moment with those you love.

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