Life is stressful. In fact, it has to be. Although it is often spoken about negatively, stress is not entirely a negative thing. It spurs us on to accomplishments, but too much of it can start to diminish your performance and mood. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to manage stress.
Organize Your Finances
Money is a major source of stress in the lives of many people. It’s a leading cause of relationship issues, but even if you’re single or you aren’t fighting with your partner about finances, money still might be causing you anxiety. This can range from a kind of constant background worry that you aren’t saving enough for retirement to serious, full-blown problems, such as owing money and not being able to bring yourself to open bills when they arrive. It may help to work with a professional or just a sympathetic friend to get these issues under control. You might be able to take advantage of student loan refinancing that saves you money each month. You can quickly fill out an application that offers flexibility and a range of terms, and you may be able to choose both your rate and your monthly payment.
Take Down Time
You’re stressed out because you have a lot to do, and you can’t take time off because you’ll fall even further behind and that will make you even more anxious. Does this sound familiar? It’s easy to fall into a vicious cycle where you can never quite afford to relax but you’re too burned out to really make much progress. Taking down time is critical to stress management. Ideally, you could devote one day per week to this, but even a few hours can help. Whether you need that time to just relax with friends or family or to grab some quiet time on your own, you’ll return to your to-do list refreshed and able to be more productive. Identify some stress relievers that work for you and always keep those ideas in your back pocket, so you have some coping mechanisms in place for times where your stress is especially heightened.
This can be anything from running marathons to getting up and stretching every hour or so and taking a walk around the block. If you work a sedentary job, sitting all day can make you stiff and sore, and a little movement can go a long way toward relieving those aches and pains. It also helps to get a physical break away from your work even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Add or Subtract a Habit
You can really improve your life by making small, consistent changes. This is often better than a giant overhaul. Choose one thing that you know is affecting your quality of life for the worse that you want to start or stop doing. Maybe it’s spending too much time on a social media site, or perhaps you want to eat more vegetables. You can use apps and extensions to block sites you are on too much, and you can buy carrots or other vegetables and prep them for snacking once or twice a week. Work on making your new habit consistent for a few months before adding a new one.