I was about to apologize for Part 5 being a little behind, when I realized something. I actually succeeded this week at knocking something off my plate, when things were absolutely crazy at our house. I figure having just one Part this week instead of two is really not all that bad. I just hope none of you were looking for it! So, here we are on Part Five, out of the series laid out below:
Part One: Looking Inward
Part Two: Looking Outward
Part Three: Make a Plan
Part Four: Just Say No!
Part Five: Don’t Do This!
Part Six: Organize
Part Seven: Make Changes
37 Ways to Have Less Stress:
Part Five: Don’t Do This!
1) Don’t Make Mountains out of Molehills!
When we are stressed out, one of the easiest things to do is to make a big deal out of anything. Once we start seeing things in that negative light, everything takes on that nasty attitude. Know what I mean? Just like when you’re rushing somewhere (already late), and you trip over that toy that you asked your daughter to pick up already 5 times that day. Tripping over that toy is just one more thing to add to the already crazy day your having. But isn’t it amazing how when we’re having a great day, we’ll just joyfully pick up that toy, and put it away ourselves? Now I’m not saying our kids don’t need to pick up their toys! They do! However, we need to keep in mind that when we’re really stressed out, we’re more likely to get stressed over anything that creeps onto our path. We need to have the perspective that we are already are stressed to the max. That way, we have in mind that we’re already stressed, and any new thing that pops up that can make things worse, will already be in mind. Then we’re not likely to freak out over every. single. thing. When we’re already dealing with stress, not making mountains out of molehills is just a little way to help things (even if it’s just preventing things from getting worse!).
2) Don’t Start What You Can’t Finish!
Ok, I am SO bad at this one. When I am stressed out and trying to balance everything, the easiest thing in the world is to add more onto the pile. The problem with this thinking, is that I tend to think, “Oh, ONE more thing won’t be that bad!”. Then before I know it, I am so overwhelmed with all the things I took on. We learned in previous parts not how to say no to more things. Here, what I want to stress though, is that we need to not only be careful not to take on more things during stressful times, but only take on what we know we can complete! For example, I have a bunch of vegetables that are sitting in my kitchen waiting to be cut up and canned. But I found these awesome old windows that I SO badly want to sand, paint, distress, and dress up for Christmas! Christmas you say?? Yes. So, somehow in my stressful week I found the time to go to the craft store to get some supplies, spend a few hours on Pinterest trying to get ideas, and then managed to start sanding the first window. All that was fine and dandy, until you see the veggies still sitting there in the kitchen. So then I feel guilty, start working on the veggies, then need to move all the window stuff I was doing to make room! IF I had just stuck to one thing at a time, I would have been able to complete one task, and then start something I knew I had the time to finish! By the way, I will be sharing the window project on some Feature Friday coming soon! But I first need to attend to the veggies…..
3) Don’t Be Overly Complicated!
Why do we make things so hard for ourselves??? I am so good at doing that too, which I shared previously about my problem being a perfectionist. This is such a great one to learn. When we are trying to have less stress in our lives, being complicated is one of the very first things that should go. I know. It’s easier said than done. But try this: The next time you are stressed out, and you are stressing over the details of something, just remind yourself that you can always come back to it later, when you have a moment. I know this won’t work for all things, but it will for a lot of things. I am the worst for this. I get so stuck on something, and it will be hours before I realize I am further behind than I already was. If I had just promised myself some time at the end of the day to spend on the details of that one thing, after all the needed things were done and out of the way, I would have solved the problem! Next time you’re trying to have less stress, think about the kind of time you’re spending on the complicated details. You’ll be so glad you did!
4) Don’t Let the Work Pile Up!
When we are aiming to have less stress, we really need to attend to the important things, so they don’t pile up! There is nothing more stressful than waking up to a stressful day, and walking into a ton of things that should have already been done. I know you know what I’m talking about here! Like the dishes that are from dinner last night. Sure, it was a great thought last night when you thought you would just do them in the morning. But now it’s morning, and you have even more on your to do list than you were thinking about last night! Now, those dishes are just something else you have to squeeze in to an already stressful morning. When trying to have less stress, attend to the things that you can in THAT moment. Don’t procrastinate! You’ll be so glad when you wake up tomorrow, and those dinner dishes are done!
5) Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself!
I know this is a hard one. It seems the very last thing on our minds during times of stress, is to be kind to ourselves. However, beating ourselves up is probably the worst thing we can do to ourselves during stress! I know you will agree with me that when you’re stressed out, and all seems to be going wrong, being hard on yourself comes quite naturally. But really, does it ever help? Does screaming at yourself in your head really help get the day going in the right direction? No. We need to give ourselves grace. Tough days are going to happen. And even if we could have prepared better, there is nothing that can be helped by being hard on yourself. Make a note for next time on what you could do better, or how you could do something differently, then get on with your day. No being hard on yourself if you want less stress! Got it?
So, in summary, for Part Five….(are we getting better at this yet?), let’s remember that in order to have less stress we need to think of things NOT to do. Like, DON’T make mountains of molehills, DON’T start what you can’t finish, DON’T make things overly complicated, DON’T let the work pile up, and DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF!!! I hope you are all gaining some nuggets that will help you have less stress in your lives. Especially this busy fall season. I know I could be taking my own advice a lot better!