How To Beat Stress By Staying Ahead Of It

photo: Sara Nait 

Everybody gets stressed. The difference is how you manage it, and the best way is to stay ahead of it. So here are a few pointers – feel free to pick and choose as they suit you!

Don’t be too afraid or too proud to ask for help.

It does not make you look weak. In fact, recognizing a weakness or area of improvement could be seen as a positive attribute from your boss’ perspective (or anyone else’s). Ask to go on a self-management course. Focus on organization at work to help stay on top of your workload, or ask friends and family for assistance and advice on dealing with your problems. Ask for help to help yourself – and your stress levels!

Go digital or go traditional

Organize yourself! How many times have you read this whilst scrolling through blog post? So start now; go out and buy yourself a diary and make yourself use it until it becomes as natural as waking up in the morning. Not a pen and paper kind of gal? There are so many (free) apps that can help you get your act together.

Stop what you’re doing. Now.

Ok, so you can’t keep an eternal diary – you’re just not that kind of person. Fair enough. Challenge yourself then; can you keep one up for two weeks, jotting down everything you do and when you’re at your most/least stressed? After the two weeks have passed, look for patterns. Are you always really stressed the day before a particular meeting, or on crazily busy Tuesday evenings? Assess what you can do to get rid of or at least lessen the stress. Perhaps give yourself 20 minutes more to prepare for the meeting, or stop the Tuesday night yoga class you don’t enjoy that much anyway – a few small changes could make the world of difference.

See it in black and white

Write down everything you’re stressed about. Everything that could go (or is going) wrong, and all of the consequences, mind-map style. Take a long look at it; is there anything you can reasonably do that would lessen or prevent those consequences?
If so, put them into action. If not, take a deep breath and rip the paper to shreds, letting the stress go with it. If you can’t do anything about it, then remember that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum (thank you, Baz Lurhman).

Written by Genieve Crump.
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