One of the biggest problems for people is never-ending stress. Why is it that every time we finally overcome that burden of anxiety or chaos before our sense of peace is interrupted by another stressful situation? Sometimes, I think life can be just a series of tests that in time we struggle to master. Fortunately, these stress management strategies offer new coping skills that can help set a new course for your future.
The first of these stress management strategies involves becoming aware of likely stressors in what your typical day is like before allowing them to get the better of you. What I am saying is to think about all you need to do during an average day and learn to weed out the less important tasks that need to be done instead of letting the pressure of that workload get to you.
Start with the most critical task that needs your attention and then work your way down. After all, there are always alternatives and shortcuts that can help. For instance, your child’s school may be planning a bake sale that you’re asked to bake your famous homemade chocolate bar cookies. However, you suddenly went from a stay at home mother to a working one that doesn’t have the same amount of time to devote to baking cookies. Instead of feeling guilty and beating yourself up, an alternative is going to a bakery and buying a box of cookies. Taking that step does not diminish the quality of the mother that you are, it does the same thing and solves the problem. So why let yourself continue to suffer when you already found a solution?
The second of these stress management strategies is examining all you are from wife, mother, friend, employee, boss, daughter, niece and vice versa such as a husband, a son, a father, a nephew, etc. The reason this garners another look is because with so many different roles to play in life that no one is perfect performing each one every single time.
For example, your child could fall behind in school or being bullied that causes you to devote more time to remedy those situations than usual. In doing so, you may have given up a dinner party a friend was hosting or not spending as much quality time with your husband. While you got a perfect score as a mother that week, your score may have dropped as a friend and wife for that week as well. Rather than blaming yourself for neglecting them, realize that the roles we play go up and down and can always be improved the next week accordingly to makeup for our shortfalls.
Another of these stress management strategies is rethinking your beliefs of what others expect of you. Sometimes, you are just making wrong assumptions and being too hard on yourself when it is not necessary.
To illustrate, I’ll give you a good example. You might have worked all day doing major cleaning and were too tired to cook a normal dinner as always. The fact that your family is going to be deprived of a good hot meal that would be on the table is upsetting to you. But, you can take out that box of frozen hamburger patties and serve hamburgers and chips that night or boil up pasta and throw on ready-made spaghetti sauce to serve that night just as easily. This doesn’t mean that you are a bad wife or mother. On the contrary, it just shows that you are a tired one. Regardless, your family is still being fed so stop punishing yourself and waste energy in the wrong way.
The final of these stress management strategies that can make all the difference in your life is to stop letting others force you into things. Instead, you are the one that should make those decisions for yourself. This calls for learning for to be more assertive at times, which is far better than remaining a pushover and stressing about it.
These stress management strategies are just another resource that can save you from pain in the future. You also might benefit from reading my earlier post on how to focus on the present when undergoing tough times.