37 Ways to Have Less Stress: Part Five

Less Stress

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!).

 

Less Stress2) 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! :)

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Minecraft Party!

Minecraft Party Collage

Oh my GOODNESS! Was this party ever a success! When my daughter told me she wanted to have a Minecraft party, I had NO clue what I was going to do. But, with a little internet research, the ball got rolling. I went to Pinterest for a lot of ideas, and made a board which you can see here: Minecraft Party Ideas.  I didn’t use all the ideas, but wow, did it ever give me some great options. Hannah had a great time, and so did her guests. Here is a post to explain how we pulled it off.Minecraft Party Collage

 

Invitations:

We just printed off invitations from the web, and then I cropped them and glued them into little green notecards I picked up for cheap from Michaels. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of them, but they were cute!

Decor:Minecraft Party Creeper Face

We had so much fun with this! Decorating for a Minecraft party is so easy! You really just need to go with green, and a black magic marker! We drew creeper faces on green balloons with marker (that was super easy). I just tied some curling ribbon onto those balloons to dress them up a little. Then, another idea I got from the web, was to make a huge creeper face on the wall. We used green and black napkins instead of paper plates, but either would be fine. My son made the creeper face in about 10 minutes! See the picture to the right.

Also for decor we used a couple of green plastic table cloths (one light green and one dark green). I pushed the table to the wall, and set the table with green creeper buckets and green creeper cups. I picked these up at Party City, and the Dollar Store! I just used black magic marker to do the faces. I also put each kid’s initial on their bucket and cup so they didn’t get mixed up. The kids loved them!

Minecraft Party Cups

I also put the candy I purchased from the Bulk Food Store, on the table. I printed signs of the web, just by googling “Minecraft Carrots”, for example. Then I glued the pictures onto black bristol board to make little signs. This is a picture of the table with the candy on it.

Minecraft Party Table

Treats:

Here are some more pictures of the candy. The little ‘rocks’ were made of chocolate, and were a hit!

Minecraft Party Candy

I used watermelon jelly candies for watermelon, red jellybeans to represent red apples, and green jellybeans for emeralds. I used Hershey’s Kisses for diamonds.

 

 

I also used blue shark gummies for fish, pretzel sticks to represent sticks, and pretzel squares for trapdoors! One of the most popular items at our Minecraft party, was the ‘carrots’, which I used cheesies! I also got these from the Bulk Food store.  Minecraft Party Sticks

 

 

 

Minecraft Party Trap doors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minecraft Party Fish

 

Minecraft Party Carrots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another big hit was the diamond swords! Party City has these and they come in packages of 8. The kids loved them! Here is a picture of those.

Minecraft Party Diamond Swords

The biggest hit at our Minecraft party was the drinks. Instead of each kid choosing what kind of pop they wanted, I found some really cheap “potion” bottles at Michaels. I think they were less than a dollar each. I put a different kind of pop in each potion bottle, with signs saying they were potions. The kids had a BLAST mixing the potions to create their own drinks! They LOVED it!

Minecraft Party Potions

Games:

For games we played one, similar to “Hot Potato”. I grabbed a red box from the dollar store, and glued TNT signs on all four sides. I then put my phone with a timer on it inside the box. The kids would pass it around until the timer went off, and whoever was holding the TNT box was out. Just set the timer to random times.

The other game we played was pin the tail on the pig! It was easy to make a pig out of construction paper, and I made a little creeper mask out of green and black felt. They loved it!

And of course a Minecraft party would not be complete without playing a little Minecraft!

 

Minecraft Party Pig

 

Cake:

Oh, I cannot forget the cake! It was just a store bought package of chocolate cake that we made at home. I bought white icing and we added green food colouring to it. I used a black icing gel to do the creeper face.

Favours:

For party favours I just grabbed a bunch of cheap things from the Party Store, and grabbed some green paper bags, and added some more creeper faces with a black marker!

Minecraft Party Cake

 

So, I would have to say that throwing a Minecraft party was not as bad as I thought it would be. With the internet, and a printer, that solved half the battle! Then adding a little colour with decor made things look great. Then you add a couple Minecraft party games, and you’re set!

I would LOVE to hear your comments! If you have any questions about how we pulled it off, I would love to answer them.

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37 Ways to Have Less Stress: Part Four

less stress

I apologize for Part Four being a little delayed, but not only was I sick last week, but we also ha a lot going on here, which I will share on Friday! So here we are on Part Four, 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 Four: Just Say No!

less stress

1) Stop Rushing!

When we are stressed out and trying to get everything done, we tend to rush. We think that the faster we go, the more we’ll get done. Although there are times that we need to pick up the pace a little, rushing is not the way to go. When we rush, we miss out on a lot of little things that may be important. One area that often goes unnoticed is how we treat other people when we are in a rush. Think of all the people that get the rotten side of us when we’re rushing. People like cashiers, friends, not to mention our spouse and kids. We can miss out on simple things like facial expressions, and subtle comments.  We can hurt so many others by just being in a rush. Next time you find yourself rushing, take the time to stop and ask yourself how you are treating others around you, and ask yourself if you’re missing out on what’s going on around you.

2) Stop doing things you can’t do well!

When we do things we can’t do well, we open the door to all sorts of negative things. Not only do the tasks we can’t do well take up more of our precious time, but it takes up so much more effort too. I am not saying that we shouldn’t try new things, or that we should give up on anything we’re not super at, because that’s just not true! However, in light of this series, please hear me! When we are trying to have less stress in our lives, we need to not waste time doing things that we’re not good at. This could be a dish that you keep trying to perfect for your family that always goes wrong. When trying to have less stress, stick to the dishes that are your best ones….ones you could make with your eyes closed! Some suggestions for you are to swap tasks with a friend or family member. Each contribute something you’re great at, and they contribute something they’re great at. Have your girlfriend make up a spreadsheet for your family budget, while you do a batch of your famous cookies. You’ll both save time!

3) Count the Cost Before You Commit!

Don’t you just wish sometimes that you could turn the clock back, and take back all those moments you volunteered to do something that you had absolutely NO time to do?? I think that happens to all of us at some time or another. Our intentions get the better of us, and before we know it, we are committed up to our eyeballs in stuff that we had no business committing to. When we are trying to have less stress in our lives, we really need to get in the habit of counting the cost of something before we say we’ll take it on. A long time ago, when I used to get called last minute for shifts, I found myself just saying yes, before I really took a look at my day. So, something I ended up trying worked so great. As soon as I got the phone call to ask if I could come in for a shift, I would tell them I would think about it, and call them back. Then I would take no longer than 5 minutes, and actually breathe. I would think about my day, and whether I could really take on a shift or not. It was SO easy to come up with a realistic decision when I didn’t have my boss on the other end of the phone. So try something like that. When trying to have less stress, take a few minutes to yourself before committing to something you’ll end up regretting.

4) Learn How To Just Say NO!

This one goes well with so many other the other 37 Ways to have less stress. However, it needs a line of it’s own! We all need to learn how to say no to things without feeling the guilt that usually goes along with saying no. It is one thing to learn how to say no. It’s hard! We are always worrying about what others will think, and we don’t like letting people down. However, when we commit to something under those circumstances, we really are not giving our best anyway. When we really know deep down inside that we should be saying no to something, we need to lean in and trust our feelings. It could be that you already have too much on the go, or that you’re heart is really not in it. Whatever the case, please say no! You’ll be so glad that you did. Now, when you do say no to something, you have to, have to, HAVE to let go of the guilt that will try to follow. Trust your feelings, and your decision. If you say no to something, reward yourself with the feelings of doing the right thing!

5) Stop Expecting!

Our expectations get us in so much trouble! Why do we expect so much of ourselves? Why do we expect so much from those around us? In a world where perfect is the standard, it is so hard to get our expectations down to reasonable levels. If you missed my post on perfectionism, click here. When we are trying to have less stress in our lives, we need to lower our expectations drastically. It doesn’t mean we need to compromise, but it means setting the bar lower than what we normally would. Stressed out because your child isn’t eating healthy enough? Be glad when they eat a veggie or two, instead of expecting the whole plate. It’s making little exceptions here and there that will greatly reduce the stress. You’ll see!

6) Avoid People Who Talk Too Much!

Now I do not mean to be rude with this one. I am trying to make less stress for you. When you have someone in your life that talks too much, it can cause so much undue stress. Without putting down that person who has the gift of gab, try to see my point. Listening to someone go on and on with details that are not necessarily a must, can just cause our brains to go on overload. This could be details describing an event, a person, or whatever. Details are the last thing your head needs when you are trying to have less stress. Also, try real hard to stay clear of the gossiping person. Those are not images you have time for – you need to have a clear head for things that critical to YOUR day, not details of someone else’s life. To help you with this, just try to keep this in mind the next time you’re chatting with someone. If you don’t have time to go into great detail about the weather, just politely excuse yourself, then spend those few saved minutes on YOU!

 

So for Part Four, “Just Say No!”, remember that each time you say no, you are giving yourself a better chance at having less stress. Whether it be that you stop rushing, stop doing things that you don’t do well, whether you count the cost before you commit, learn to say no, or don’t listen to someone who talks too much – you will be learning to reduce the stress in your life. Once again, I would love to hear your comments on this post. If you missed the others in this series, you can find them below:

Part One – Looking Inward, Part Two – Looking Outward, and Part Three – Make a Plan!

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