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Finding Balance in a Stressful World

Dial down the stress with these eight tips

Does it seem like time goes by faster and faster every year? Do you find that your level of stress builds up with each new responsibility you take on in your life? Whether you are student with a big course load or a top executive with an overflowing inbox, stress can get the better of you if you are not careful.

How can you achieve your goals without all the stress? Is it possible to be successful in your life and career without turning yourself into a stress case? The good news is, the answer is yes! It’s a matter of targeting your priorities and learning how to find a balance that works for you. Here are some tips to attaining this important balance.

1. Focus on top priorities
Most stress arises when people have too many tasks to do and not enough time to do them. To help remedy this equation, you should be looking for ways to reduce your tasks and increase your time. Here are some pointers:

  • Each day or week, identify your top three priorities, and focus your efforts on completing them first. Try to put the rest on a back burner.
  • Do only one thing at a time—not 10 things! Multi-tasking may feel productive, but in the end, you end up being more stressed and less productive.
  • Get more organized. At the start of each week, plan out your schedule so you maximize the time you have available.
  • Figure out what you can delegate to others. Are there family members who could help you with household chores? Co-workers or other staff should be doing more? You shouldn’t have to do it all!

2. Be in the moment
Stress can also occur when you start worrying about all the mountains of work you have to do in the future. This kind of worry can be unproductive, because worrying about it doesn’t help to get it done. Instead of worrying about what you need to do tonight or tomorrow, try to be in the moment. Focus on what you are doing right now, and with any luck, you can even enjoy the moment!

3. Simplify, simplify, simplify!
How can you simplify your life so that there are fewer things to worry about? The first step is to learn how to say no (in a polite way). You don’t have to commit to everything that others ask you to do. You have the right to say no. You might also want to say no to things that clutter your life, like magazine subscriptions that you never read, trinkets that need to be dusted, apps that you are constantly checking, and other items that eat up your time. If something is not enriching or enhancing your life, you may want to think about getting rid of it.

4. Take care of your body
Taking care of yourself is one of the first things to go when you are feeling too stressed and busy. But taking care of yourself should be #1 on your list! Getting adequate exercise, getting quality sleep, and eating a nutritious balanced diet can go a long way to easing your stress. Sure, it takes time to do these things, but it is time well spent.

5. Find a way to vent
Even once you have eliminated some of the stressors in your life, you may still be feeling some stress. Once way to reduce this is to find a friend or family member whom you can talk to about how you are feeling. Talking out your stresses is a smart way to get your head around what’s happening. Another good way to vent is through strenuous exercise. Exercise is great for blowing off steam.

6. Let technology be your friend, not your enemy
Today’s technology can be a real time-saver when it comes to keeping to-do lists, managing tasks, and accessing information. But don’t fall into the trap of letting technology drain your time. Limit the time you spend on social medial, texting, video gaming, and other features that take up your time. In fact, a technology-free day can be a great way to unwind!

7. Get help if you need it
If stress and anxiety are getting the better of you and affecting your health, happiness, or productivity, you may want to seek professional help. Mental health professionals, counselors, mentors, friends, and families can all be helpful to you if you reach out to them. They can help you see your life in a different light and set your priorities where you want them to be.

8. Make time to recharge your batteries
You can’t be on the go at all times. Everyone needs time to relax, process their thoughts, and enjoy a little “me” time. Budget in a little time each day to do something that is all for you!

We hope these tips help you reduce your stress level, put you in the driver’s seat of your own life’s path, and show you the importance of enjoying each step along the way. Finding a way to beat the stressors of daily life will be a lesson you will be glad you learned!

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The Branford Hall Career Institute produces a weekly blog to offer tips on education, careers, health, and life. Find out more about our school by contacting us online.

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