May 31, 2012

5 Ways to Manage Stress

Stress can be a killer. Literally! Much of what we deal with is beyond our control, but quite a bit is often self inflicted. Our plates become fuller and fuller. Healthy boundaries will protect you from becoming another victim of stress.

Here are 5 ways to maintain boundaries when it comes to stress:

1. The art of NO

You cannot do it all. The worse case scenario is that something goes undone. Trust me when I say, the world
will keep spinning.

2. Punch Out

No, I don't mean hit someone, although that is probably a stress reliever on some level. Do not take your
work home with you. I for one struggle in this area and sometimes it is unavoidable.

Try to make a habit of checking your email at the end of the work day and early in the morning. Turn off
the email alert features on your phone in the evening.

3. Unplug Completely

If you are anything like me you continue to work even in your mind. The stress of deadlines, failures, and
Current work load can leave you exhausted. Much of our deadlines and work are of our one making. If you are
your own boss or make your own schedule remember not to take advantage of yourself.

Allow the hamster to get off the wheel for a little R&R. Spend sometime with your family. You only have one
go at life don't waste it. You can read a book, do a project, or watch a movie. Anything that engages your
mind on something else prior to sleep.

4. Take a Mental Health Day

Occasionally if you have enough sick days you can ask for a mental health day. Use this day for mental
rest. Do something relaxing, but not depressing. Don't sit around and mope about how stressed you are. Take
a hike, sit by a lake, or walk through a park. Enjoy God's creation and breath in the fresh air.

5. Watch your health

Stress can lower your immune system terribly. I have recently gone through quite a bit of stress and
actually got shingles at the age of 32. Ouch!

Choose healthier options while you are dealing with stress. The normal thing when
experiencing stress is to go for the comfort food. This only makes it worse in the long run. Instead it a
light healthy snack and go for a jog. You would be surprised how much energy will be channeled from
frustration to exercise.

While you are at it do not forget your spiritual health. It is easy to forget about prayer and neglect
the Bible and church when you need God the most.

What ways do you use to help you manage stress?

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