The American culture supposedly “thrives” on maintaining busy-ness and attempting to take on more than we can handle; anymore, I feel like maintaining a packed schedule or demanding lifestyle is equated with success.
However, I’ve seen way too many nervous breakdowns to ever believe that the stress accompanying these types of lifestyles is worth it! If you’re the type of person that can handle heavy stress without losing too much sanity, I applaud you. However, if you’re like me and tend to handle stress badly, consider the five ways I’ve decreased stress in my life without missing out on opportunities.
If there isn’t a worthwhile reason something is on the calendar, remove it. Don’t be afraid to admit your schedule is too much to handle! Choose quality over quantity; can your life really be as effective as possible if you’re spreading yourself too thin?
Prioritize relationships. A friend or family member can be such valuable encouragement; never underestimate the power of a listening ear. It’s too easy to lose friendships because of busy schedules, so think about the long-term benefit of which you choose.
Don’t be afraid to say, “No.” Never feel obligated to give more time and energy than you have just because someone asked for it.
Make sure you spend some time each day doing something fulfilling. Whether that means praying and reading your Bible, running, or reading a good book, make sure your entire day isn’t spent working or studying. Not only will it alleviate stress, but it will also make the day feel more productive at the end.
Time management is key. I noticed my stress drastically reduce when I made my to-do list reasonable and actually stuck to it each day. Don’t make your daily expectation ridiculous; it will feel too difficult to tackle, which means most of it won’t get accomplished, which means you’ll only feel more defeated. I believe most people have a tendency to overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a lifetime. Make reasonable goals for yourself and tackle them to the best of your ability!
Managing stress is all about saying Yes to what is important and no to, well, everything else!