I’ll admit, I’m stressed!! I have a Type A, very driven, perfectionistic personality. Although I strive to be what Brene Brown calls a “good-enoughist” rather than a perfectionist, I have not mastered this yet. Recently, I’ve been more stressed than usual. My husband has been traveling with work, my son recently finished playing for two baseball teams (one travel team), we have spent several weekends meeting up with out-of-town family members, and we have been looking at new houses while considering selling our current home. With so much happening at once, I tend to feel overwhelmed and not as centered as I would like to feel. If you can relate, here are a few tips I’ve used to decrease stress when life, stress and emotions have brought me off balance.
- Stay in the moment. As a therapist, I try to help my clients remain in the moment or be “mindful” of the present moment. This means being fully present in the moment instead of constantly thinking about all the things going on in your life including the things you cannot control. I encourage you to experiment with this for one day and see what comes up for you! Be gentle with yourself, especially if you find it difficult to stay in the moment. If you are trying to practice mindfulness but feel that you can’t stop thinking about something else, gently acknowledge your thought, give yourself permission to stay in the moment, and bring yourself back to the present. If you find this is hard to do, you may want to talk to a professional to dig deeper into what is keeping you from being able to remain in the present.
- Schedule a time to worry, stress and resolve problems. Yes, I said schedule a time to worry! Although this sounds silly, it can be extremely beneficial. Intentionally setting aside 30 minutes a day to worry can help you contain the worry and give you time to sit down with your stressors to brainstorm solutions. When stressful thoughts and worries arise outside of your worry time, remind yourself that you can tend to those thoughts during your next worry session.
- Practice self-care. Self-care is essential, especially when stressed. Spending time implementing self-care can help prevent you from burning out. Good self-care can include activities such as exercise, yoga, gardening, spending time with friends, etc. However, self-care does not have to be an activity. Good self-care can be setting firm boundaries with others, being assertive when needed, getting enough sleep, or taking a nap.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and need to turn down your stress level, try these tips. If you feel like you need additional support and are looking to talk to someone to explore more ways to decrease stress in your life, please feel free to give us a call!