Happy Monday! Finally back to the routine and it almost kept me up all night. Why? Well, because I’ve switched to coaching Monday mornings and I was paranoid I was going to miss my alarm. Mind you, I’m not sure I’ve missed an alarm in my life before so I (in theory) shouldn’t be concerned but in reality, I am ALWAYS concerned I’m going to miss important meetings/times.
We call that STRESS my friends.
Why do I bring this up?
Well on my Instagram stories the other week I had mentioned that you should be managing your stress. Someone asked what that meant, and I was like well, I should, in fact explain this concept further! Managing stress does not mean that stress goes away, it just means that you get a handle on it so that you control it, it doesn’t control you.
The thing is, stress doesn’t go away. You can’t magically wave a wand and expect it to go away. Sure, on vacation you probably notice it gone, but as soon as you’re back in the swing of things, BOOM, there it is again.
What Causes Stress?
Short answer: Almost anything & everything
Long answer: it depends. Everyone handles “stress” and “stressful” situations differently. Some might find traffic to be stress inducing, others might embrace it and find it relaxing and a means of putting off getting to work. Some LOVE exercise and find it rejuvenating, others, not so much. The list goes on.
So, the thing is that A LOT of things can cause stress it’s just a matter of how you respond to said stress that matters. It also matters how you perceive said stress.
Rank Your Stress
Something I tell all my clients to do is to rank their stress. Why? Because perceived stress is a BIG deal. While, certainly you can have stress without perceiving it, the number tells me a lot about your health situation and can help me guide you better.
So here’s the question:
On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being none in your life, 10 being the worst in your life, where would you rank your stress ON AVERAGE?! If your answer is higher than a 5, something needs to give. If it’s less than 5 it’s still good to do the steps below to make sure your stress is in check.
Why do I care? I’ll write another post on this, but stress can wreak havoc on your health and on your life, and by not managing it you put yourself at risk for so many health & life issues. Stress matters, let’s manage it!
How to Manage Your Stress
Write down the top stressors in your life.
Take a pen & paper & write down what your major stressors are. Examples: work, relationships, finances, food/diet, fitness (or lack thereof), sleep (or lack therof), commute, the news, social media, etc.
Pick 3 that you can change & focus on them.
There are obviously some things you can’t change right now, like you may not be able to quit your job right now, so let’s see what 3 things you can impact right now.
With those 3 stressors in mind, recruit help. Have people HELP you help yourself with no shame. For example, need help with food? Hire a dietitian. Need help with fitness? Hire a trainer/coach! Help with finances? Find someone like this lady.
Make time for YOU. If you don’t the stress will continue to manifest. Get a massage, or a pedicure, or take a short vacation. Whatever you do, take care of yourself. Maybe it’s 5 minutes a day of meditation or stretching. Maybe it’s leaving work at a reasonable hour to make it to the gym. Whatever you do, make sure you prioritize yourself.
Unplug & Recharge
This is HUGE. I find that when I intentionally plan time off of social media or my phone I feel a huge wave of relief. Find ways to unplug. Instead, read a book, do a puzzle, hang out with friends, etc. You’ll find you are recharged and probably less stressed because you aren’t constantly looking at people’s highlight reel.
Monitor & Re-evaluate
Always re-check, monitor, and re-evaluate. Are you still under a 5? Or has it creeped back up. If so, what are the stressors this time?! Go through the steps again and start to manage your stress.
What are your main stressors?
Write them down (feel free to share) and start tackling them!