6. Ask for help- This is probably one of the top things we have trouble doing the most. Sometimes we're afraid of seeming incompetent or "weak" in other's eyes by asking for help. The opposite couldn't be more true. Asking for help from friends or family allows gives us room to breathe and helps us de-stress our lives. Call on neighbors, friends and family to help with errands, running your kids to practices and school events, and even household chores. 7. Be healthy - We all strive to be healthy, but I think we underestimate the importance of this point. Eating nutritiously and drinking the amount of water our body craves can truly help us reduce stress in our lives. By providing our body the fuel and water it needs, it won't shut down on us as quickly as it would if we filled it with empty calories and sugar. Imagine if we filled a car up with the wrong type of gasoline..... we wouldn't get very far would we?
8. Be realistic - When planning out our day or goals we'd like to accomplish, nothing can stress us out more than setting the bar at an unrealistic level. When planning out our day, we have to make sure we don't put too many "to do's" on our list so that we don't set ourselves up for failure and to feel too stressed out. Secondly, when trying to accomplish goals, break the goals down into the most manageable steps rather than having a large overwhelming goal. Want to lose weight? Set a goal of 5 pounds first. Want to save money? Set a goal of $50 first. Want to switch careers? Set a goal to update your resume first.
9. Save your energy for the important things - When we're looking at the tasks before us and trying to figure out what to tackle first, it's best to prioritize and start with the things that will give us the greatest enjoyment and benefit. We'll feel less stressed when we put most of our energy toward things we enjoy, rather than putting our energy toward things we do not enjoy.
10. Plan ahead for meals - Dinner time is a stressful time! One way to help ourselves out is to plan ahead. Come up with easy to make meals and put all the ingredients on your shopping list so you're only making a trip to the grocery store once (maybe twice) a week. Make enough at dinner to plan for left-overs the next day. Cooking also saves money, so it will reduce financial stress as well. Need help thinking of meals? Try Emeals, an awesome online helper for dinnertime. For a reasonable fee, they provide you with a dinner plan for the entire week (based on dietary choices you pick) and will give you the shopping list, even layed out according to aisle depending on the grocery store!
We hope this list is beginning to help. We have many more tips coming your way. Thanks for reading!
Written by: Tamara Portee MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.