The hectic morning school run, impending work deadlines, split ends for days, and an inbox that’s overflowing (100K+ don’t ask!!) …
Now, that’s what I call stressful, little do you know but that was my life a couple of years ago. Would you like to know how to reduce stress in your life?
Well, read on my friend.
Stress. We all have it, some more than others but sometimes I like to look at stress as a positive thing. Without a little pressure in our lives, how are we expected to get sh*t done? Right!?
Believe me I’ve had my fair share of days where the pressure got too much, I almost couldn’t breathe at times, but I truly believe the secret to reducing stress is learning how to manage it correctly.
Did you know stress has been classified by scientists? Who knew!?
In Dr Karl Abrechts 1979 book ‘Stress and the Manager’ he classified stress in four types:
- Time Stress – You know that annoying type of stress when you fret about the time or the lack of time you have. Gosh! I don’t think my children have this stress (LOL!).
- Anticipatory Stress – This type of stress is when you worry about the future, it’s usually focused on an event like starting a new job, or your child moving out of home!
- Situational Stress – Refers to stress or tension felt by immediate events that you have no control over, like making a mistake or losing your job. Usually this type of stress is short lived, and after the event we can recover quite quickly.
- Encounter Stress – That feeling when you run into your mother-in-law (Just kidding!!!), this type of stress can be categorised when interacting with people or in big social situations. When you experience this type of stress you may feel overwhelmed or drained.
Now every time you feel one of those stresses you’ll know exactly how to categorize it!
Surprisingly most Aussies are in the stress boat, a research survey conducted in 2017 by Medibank Australia, found the number of stressed Aussies jumped about a third to 4.9 million during the past decade.
It’s taken years of dealing with corporate shenanigans, to raising a family and building a start-up at the same time to learn the best ways to beat stress.
So I’ve put together a list of ways to reduce stress in your life!
// Understand your priorities
Priorities are everything! When your priorities are out of sync, your life is out of whack. That’s why you need to take a step back and reprioritize your life.
Start by trimming the fat, think about priorities that really aren’t important, maybe that hair appointment can be pushed back or your Facebook notifications can be checked tomorrow. Just remember… you can’t fit everything into your schedule!
Think. That bill that needs to be paid today? That’s a priority. (If you’re a Life Sorted user perhaps add a recurring reminder in Life Sorted so you never forget a bill!!).
A deadline at work about to crush you? Talk to your partner about picking up some slack around the house so you can work a few hours at night.
Think about what’s important to you or what’s missing in life? Fitness? Romance? Well add a few workouts during the week, or understand the five love languages to spruce up your relationship.
I don’t know about you but I already feel 10kgs lighter after trimming the ‘fat’ (unimportant priorities) from my calendar.
// Stop saying yes to everything (you’ll still be a WonderWoman!)
Do you know why us mamas are usually stressed? It’s usually due to a lack of time. As much as a superwoman as you are, you can’t do everything babe (I know, we like to think we can).
Why are you still saying yes to every school commitment, coffee date, and extracurricular activity?
What you need to do is start saying no! So the next time someone approaches you and your to-do list is out of control, here’s some graceful responses:
- I think I’ll pass 🙂
- Another time might work
- I wish I could make it work.
- I have too much on my plate.
- I’m slammed, next time sorry!
- Not today, thanks but my to-do list is outta control!
// Implement my 4D Framework
If you’re a long time reader of our blog, you’ve probably heard of my infamous 4D Framework, my whole family uses it, so it’s tried and tested… my approval stamp all over! This simple system will organise your thoughts and give you the time you need to process each event, activity or appointment as they occur.
As a new project, appointment or event enters your ‘brain inbox’, file it immediately by choosing ONE of these four options:
1. DO it
Priority ONE! Knock it over straight away. These are the things you can (or need) to do on the spot. Tick those babies off your list and move on.
2. DELEGATE it
Give it to someone else to do. Seriously. As parents, we can often take on too much! If your partner, child or friend can handle this – take a big breath and pass it on.
3. DEFER it
Do it another day. If it doesn’t need to be done immediately, schedule it into your calendar for a future date so you can deal with it then. Simple.
4. DITCH it
Delete, dismiss or discard it. This one is self-explanatory and my favourite option of all. If it isn’t relevant, straight to ‘trash’!
// Take a DEEP breath (American Institute of Stress approved)
According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), taking a deep breath is one of the best ways to calm yourself down and reduce your stress.
In order to reduce stress the AIS says we need to activate the body’s natural relaxation response. The relaxation response is when your metabolism decreases, your heart beat slows, muscles relax and your blood pressure decreases. Or in non-scientific terms when you’re chilled the eff out!
The AIS claims one major technique that works above all it’s plain simple…BREATHING! Shocked right!? Me too.
According to them proper abdominal breathing consisting of 20-30 minutes per each will reduce anxiety and stress. See deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to the brain which in return stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which makes you feel calm!
So start breathing! Or *properly* I might add, deep breaths using your abdomen!
Teddy Bear Breathing (AIS) – One for the kids
Kids get stressed too! Gosh with the amount of homework I see my daughter do, I’d be up the wall too!
The AIS created a technique for the little ones using a teddy bear. Lie on your back, with one hand on your chest and the teddy bear on your belly button. Close your eyes and relax, slowly take deep breaths through your nose, this is where only your teddy bear shall rise but not your chest.
When you have taken a full breath hold it for 3 seconds, then slowly breathe out. Repeat this until you feel nice and relaxed.
// Try using technology (apps) to de-stress
No silly! I don’t mean Facebook or Instagram, we’re talking about apps that will calm you and make your life so much less stressful.
One of the most unique apps on the app store is Calm, this number 1 app for sleep and meditation has helped me find my zen when sh*t hits the fan. With features like breathing exercises, mediation classes, sleep stories and relaxing music, it’s the perfect tool to de-stress after a looooong day. Download Calm
Life Sorted is the amazing calendar app (designed by yours truly), where your whole family schedule is neatly in one place. No more stressing about events or appointments, with the tap of a button you can notify the whole gang with an event change…it’s seriously that easy. No more nagging! Download Life Sorted
How are you feeling now? Hopefully a lot less stressed!
You’ve got this mama!