Four of my top stress management tips are outlined below (tops because they are repeatedly tried and proven by me and many others). They help me — and hopefully will help you — manage the chaos of our 90 mph lives.  Of course, these tips are by no means intended as all inclusive.  They are shared with my readers, however, as a fairly quick-reading starter list for helping us retake control of our busy lives.

I believe strongly in the amazing results of each of these great “tools,” however, I must reread them often to ensure I am indeed taking advantage of what they offer in the midst of my busyness….it’s really amazing how often we ignore plain ol’ common sense “stuff” … but it always catches up with us when we do….okay…here they are, please savd a copy and re-read often and please share your additional top 3 or 4 stress management “tools” and tips via the comment section as well.

    1. Make a list of 10-20 activities that you love to do (or would like to do one day) by yourself or with others.  Ask yourself: “How many of these favorite activities have I made time for in the past year?” If your answer is “Few or none and not often enough!”, then immediately make plans to do at least one of your favorite activities within two weeks or less.
    2. Make a for-your-eyes-only list of all the things that cause you stress (big, small and in-between) … then cross out all the stresses that you have no control over (e.g. someone’s grating personality, rush hour traffic, etc.)  Next, make a mini-action plan for your top three stresses …this carry-in-your-pocket sized mini-action plan will include the steps you can/must take to eliminate or greatly diminish each stress listed….these won’t include the stresses we’ve listed, but truly have no control over changing….It will includes the ones that we can do something about.  Procrastination only heaps more stress on our plates (as we’ve all learned the hard way)….Be your own best friend and get started implementing your plan today!
    3. Do a simple “Pros and Cons” / Good Stuff – Bad Stuff list for your job, your relationships, etc.  again (for your-eyes-only of course!).  After making and reviewing your list, ask yourself if the Pros outweigh the Cons more often than the other way around….also think hard about the Cons and ask yourself if there’s not something you can do to get rid of those negatives. And be mindful that if the “cons” outweigh the “pros” repeatedly, it may be time for some tough, but needed decisions.
    4. Walk, work out at a gym, swim or whatever type of exercise you enjoy and can safely do — just MOVE and do it often…Exercise is truly one of the best tranquilizers, de-stressors, pain killers and friends we have….stick with your exercise plan (most important to make it doable and reasonable)…even 10 minutes is a start…commit to stick with your new exercise efforts for at least four weeks.  After the initial month or earlier,  you will most likely be hooked for life because of how much better you feel, look and are able to handle life’s challenges. Consider adding Yoga, Pilates and/or meditation to your busy lives. Personally, I incorporate 5-10 minute yoga sessions throughout the day…not an overwhelming commitment of time and I always return to my work or other activities feeling re-energized and far more relaxed.  Learn how to deep breathe correctly and do it often~ Even 1 minute of deep breathing can do wonders for us in the midst of our busy days.

      In closing, one of my favorite sayings is: 

      “Yesterday is a canceled check;

      Tomorrow is a promissory note.

      Today is the *only* cash we have so we had best spend it wisely !!” (anonymous)

      Bottom line – We can keep burning ourselves out day in and day out or we can say, “Enough already!” and take full responsibility for our own mental and physical health.  If we are unwilling to do this then we should at least stop complaining about  the stresses in our lives (especially to others!) and be willing to accept any and all consequences that will ultimately result from burying our heads in the sand.  Thank goodness the choice is indeed ours to make.

      Our Choice

      Thanks as always for sharing a part of your day with me.


      About the author 

      Nancy Byerly Jones

      Nancy Byerly Jones and her husband reside on their mountainside ranch (“Little Hee Haw Farm”) with an energetic “family” of horses, donkeys (large and miniature), dogs and cats. Their favorite pastime is sharing the joy and fun of their animals and ranch life with their family, friends and clients.

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