And believe it or not, Dan is very specific about having Free Days come first :. You can do whatever you want except work! Here are some suggestions to get you started:. But did you know that chronic procrastination leads to higher levels of stress?
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Tiny chunking: Whenever you have a large project looming, break it down into smaller minute tasks that seem achievable and assign micro-deadlines to each smaller task. Brainstorm anything that needs to be done to get those tasks out of your brain and onto your calendar. When in doubt, write it out: A major source of procrastination is a lack of clarity. Achieve mental clarity by using a calendar. Put your responsibilities, events, and due dates in a single place for easy viewing.
We often underestimate how long things will take and overestimate our capacity to focus and finish them. Clear out your working environment: For many people, having a disorganized environment leads to a significant source of stress. You should have a place for everything, and likewise, put everything in a place for later retrieval whenever you need it.
Self-Care Ideas (and Activities) for Coping With Life
Set realistic goals and expectations. By being realistic, you will get everything done and keep the commitments you have made to other people. Feeling overwhelmed and tired? Be kind to yourself! Release any grudges or resentments you have for past instances of procrastination and get back on track today. According to scientists from Harvard Medical School, journaling is one of the most powerful ways of dealing with traumatic and stressful life experiences.
This is how emotions are regulated. Taking stock of all the people, experiences, and things in your life you are grateful for can help shift your perspective on a difficult situation. A stressful situation: For some, writing down the details about a stressful situation can be therapeutic. Writing out affirmations and statements of positive self-talk will allow you to better cope with bad days and avoid negative self-talk. Ultimately, writing empowers you to take control of your life because you come to realize what is within your control and what you can simply let go of.
The daily practice of meditation for just 10 minutes a day has beneficial short-term and long-term effects for stress relief , concentration, self-esteem, and overall happiness. First, find a quiet place free of distractions. Get comfortably seated and start focusing on your breath.
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Whenever negative thoughts arise, just allow them to come and go without judgment or acting upon them. To start meditating we suggest you begin with a guided audio track to get used to the core principles. You can try the Relax Melodies app to get started. It contains carefully crafted meditations for people at all levels.
Music is a powerful force in all cultures. Music also soothes our stressful minds. Listening to songs that you like has been proven to lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels. Music even reduces feelings of anxiety and stress. There is a consensus as to which types of music generally work better than others for reducing stress. Experts explain:. While you may not be able to completely escape a stressful work environment , there are strategies that can help you tackle your present stressors:.
What is stressing you out: Take note of all the things about your job that are stressing you out. Is it your salary? The lack of bonding and connection with co-workers? Are you missing meaningful challenges? Oftentimes, we are assigned tasks that are either unfeasible within a certain time limit or beyond our skill set. Exercise has been proven over and over again to be one of the best ways to lower your stress levels. Try being active outside. Being exposed to nature and the outdoors can do wonders for lowering your heart rate and blood pressure.
The foods and drinks you consume every day can have a tremendous effect on your overall stress levels. Researchers say:. Try to stay away from quick snacks that are high in calories, fats, and refined sugars. Chronic long-term stress can lead to unwanted fat gain , and immediate gratification can delay your stress relief. Here are some general tips you can follow to ensure your diet is helping not hurting your ability to handle stress.
Limit your caffeine intake and avoid drinking it late in the day. A cup of coffee here and there is okay, but drinking too many cups will only make you more anxious and elevate your stress levels. Focus on eating smaller meals throughout the day. You will be far less likely to experience rapid spikes and dips in your energy levels. Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Being dehydrated can make you less productive and focused throughout the day, which can worsen your stress. Choose healthy foods.
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Eat salmon, oatmeal, leafy greens, vegetables of all colors, and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil, eggs, and nuts. Drink teas with stress-relieving compounds in them. Many natural compounds have been proven to relieve anxiety and help you sleep better at night. Often, these vices are the first choice for people who are experiencing high levels of stress and are seeking instant relief. However, all three of these things act as stimulants that only agitate you further and make you more anxious. Any temporary level of relief you get from them is soon canceled out by their ability to amplify your existing stress symptoms while potentially adding new ones.
If possible, try to reduce your use of cigarettes, recreational drugs, and alcohol as much as you can. There is a vicious self-feeding cycle that takes place between sleep deprivation and chronic stress levels. They wake up tired and unable to function during the day. As a result, your body produces stress-promoting hormones that prevent you from falling asleep and you will continue to feel tense at bedtime.
Both your stress levels and lack of sleep feed off each other until one of them is resolved for good. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep every night. Deep breathing is one of the easiest and fastest ways to take direct control of your mental state. When you breathe slowly and deeply , you are slowing down your heart rate and lowering your blood pressure. Your cortisol levels will also go down and your mind will start to relax. Deep breathing is something you can do anywhere, anytime. Studies in massage therapy prove that it can reduce symptoms of anxiety, relieve muscle tension , and help you manage pain.
Overall, it appears that positive social support of high quality can enhance resilience to stress. Dealing with stress alone is much more difficult than sharing your burden. The Simplify Your Life Challenge. Riding the Turbulence of Life Like a Wave. Focus as an Antidote for Wanting to Do Everything. Develop the Powerful Habit of Mindful Focus. The March Healthy Eating Challenge. Getting Started with Traveling Ultralight. The Drop Deeper into Mindfulness Challenge. A Simple Practice for Stressful Holidays.
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