While you may not be able to solve the biggest stressors in your life, you
can do something about many of the smaller stressors that “nickel and dime you
to death.” Here are some proven stress reducers you can implement in daily life
- Get up 15 minutes earlier each morning. That gives you a little more time to
eat something, run back to get something you forgot, or enjoy a cup of coffee
before heading out the door. If you drive to work, a 15 or 20 minute head start
may decrease some of the traffic you face, and make the commute less stressful.
- Prepare for mishaps. Make an extra copy of your house key and bury it in
your neighbors’ yard; make a second copy of your car key and tape it under your
coworker’s desk. Both may allow you to get home and inside the house if you
loose your keys. If you do have to use them, pat yourself on the back for being
- Don’t do something if you will have to lie about it afterwards. While this
may seem obvious, the nagging guilt we feel often wears us down or makes us
anxious about getting caught… Sure, it may be more time consuming to fax your
resume to new job sites from Kinko’s, but you don’t have to worry about being
- Do something healthy for yourself. That could mean taking the stairs once a
day instead of the elevator, picking one day a week to have a salad for lunch,
or eating fresh fruit instead of a candy bar. What’s the overall effect on your
health? Maybe not much, but small steps lead to bigger ones, and doing something
simple for your body is the best way to start.
- Write it down. There is an old Chinese proverb that goes, “The palest ink is
better than the most retentive memory.” All those “Seven Secrets” tips are based
on writing things down. Write down goals, errands, chores, due dates for
projects and library books… Instead of just a “To Do” list, keep a “Have Done”
list too. Move things over to that list after having completed them. At the end
of the day, review how productive you were.
- Do something special on a whim. Buy flowers for your partner unexpectedly.
Sneak a small greeting card that says “I love you” into your child’s lunch box.
Bring donuts, bagels, or muffins to the office for others one morning. You get
the picture. Someone else’s smile and “Thanks” can sometimes make a bad day
- Be willing to forgive others. Allowing others the right to make a mistake
goes a long way toward forgiving yourself for mistakes. Assume that others are
doing the best they can. Mark Twain once said, “Never attribute to malice what
can easily be attributed to stupidity.” This goes a long way toward doing the
best you can as well.
- Don’t eat lunch at your desk. Get away to somewhere quiet or different if
only for a 15 or 20 minute break.
- Delegate new jobs. Say no to avoid additional responsibilities. Simplify.
Put your best effort into a task, and ask yourself, “Is it really that
important?” before you decide to do it over. Learn to ignore others’ criticism
- Get up and stretch periodically. Twist side to side and bend front to back.
Roll your head around to stretch your neck a bit. Trade shoulder rubs with a
coworker. If you used to smoke, but have stopped, get up and take a break anyway
when you feel the need to smoke. A quick trip to the water cooler, to a
coworker’s desk, or to the restroom doesn’t provide the nicotine a cigarette
used to, but it does give you the break and moment’s respite a cigarette