How can you make sure the added pressures of school, studies or work don’t take a toll on you and your family? Ease up on yourself. Set priorities and keep things in perspective. You can’t avoid stress, but you can make changes that will reduce the level of stress in your life. For instance:

Establish priorities. Make a list of things you absolutely must do (study for an exam, keep a doctor’s appointment) and those that are important to you (reading a bedtime story to your child, meet a friend for coffee). Say “no” to anything that doesn’t fit either of these categories. Check the “must do” list for anything you may be able to delegate to someone else (walk the dog, grocery shopping).

Change your perspective. Instead of worrying “what will happen if?” try saying to yourself “so what if….?” Will whatever it is that’s worrying you matter next week? Next month? Next year? If it will, then give it your coolest, calmest attention.

Find humor in every situation. Try to find some small funny aspect to any stressful situation. Laugh at yourself. Loosen up and enjoy life.

Relax your standards. Doing everything perfectly is not only unnecessary, but it’s also impossible. Remind yourself, it’s not brain surgery. Take a shortcut once in a while.

Establish a quiet time and place of your own. Have a quiet place you can retreat to for a few minutes to relax, catch your breath, and gather your thoughts. Get more sleep! To clear your mind of sleep, make a “to do” list every night before you got to bed. Then put it aside. This way you won’t worry and try to remember what you have to do tomorrow instead of drifting off to sleep. Refrain from alcohol, caffeine and exercise for a least three hours before retiring.

Exercise regularly. Exercise releases natural chemicals called endorphins, which enhance your sense of well-being and help chase away fatigue while lifting your spirits. So, be sure to get some exercise every day!

Eat well. Strict dieting, too much caffeine, too many refined, sugary foods are all energy zappers. Start off with an excellent breakfast. Good nutrition and eating habits will pay off by keeping you alert and healthy.

© Wordscapes® (David Turner). All Rights Reserved.