Stress can emerge and become incredibly harmful to your health if you don’t control it and keep it in check with the right self-care strategies.
Even small amounts of stress can gradually lead to worse mental and physical health over time, so it’s important to address the issue before it gets out of hand.
Pay attention to these nine signs you aren’t taking care of yourself, so you can reduce or remove your stress as soon as possible.
Even small amounts of stress can gradually lead to worse mental and physical health over time
Consider your expectations
The point is that when you let stress infiltrate your life, you set yourself up for disappointment.
Being aware of how stress manifests in your daily life and what can lead to stress can help you fight back against all those little things that add up over time. For example, if work responsibilities are getting to be too much, try approaching them with a fresh perspective. That same seemingly mundane task may not feel like such a burden once you’ve looked at it through a different lens or approached it in a different way.
Stress could also emerge if certain expectations aren’t being met.
Set realistic deadlines
What can lead to stress is not setting realistic deadlines.
For example, if you have a job that requires constant attention to detail, but you have work that can be done in smaller chunks over time, you will probably feel a lot less stressed and much more productive by trying to set realistic goals that fit in with your other commitments and responsibilities.
You might not get it all done by deadline, but there is always tomorrow or next week! Now go take a moment to see if you could find ways of prioritizing your daily tasks and responsibilities so they are easier for you to achieve without compromising on them or yourself? Do it as soon as possible so you don’t procrastinate!
don’t forget to eat healthy meals! Your body will thank you.
Organize your tasks
While you’re likely buried under a backlog of emails, tasks, projects and other demands on your time, that doesn’t mean you can afford to be lax about your wellbeing. In fact, being stressed out about work could actually be hurting your productivity.
Try organizing your tasks into manageable chunks and making sure you take time to go for walks or do yoga throughout the day—even if it’s just for 10 minutes. And don’t forget to eat healthy meals! Your body will thank you.
Break tasks into sections
Breaking a large task into smaller chunks can help reduce stress when you’re facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
This is what psychologists call chunking. Say, for example, that you have to write a 10-page research paper in your philosophy class—it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by such a huge assignment.
But if you break it down, then it becomes more manageable:
- read over my notes from last week;
- find some sources online;
- outline an introduction and conclusion;
- create a list of sources (5 hours);
- make an outline (2 hours);
- start writing!
Use a timer to focus on your tasks
Time is a finite resource, and if you’re not careful about how you use it, it can slip through your fingers.
The only way to ensure that you’re using your time effectively is to give yourself goals and stick to them. That way, even if you’re not hitting them exactly on time, you’ll at least know that your priorities are in order.
One strategy for making sure that happens? Use a timer. Set a goal for how much time you want to spend working or studying, and then work toward achieving it. It might seem like an arbitrary number at first—but when you see how quickly minutes add up into hours, you might be surprised by just how valuable your time really is.
It’s important to take care of yourself: Stress can emerge if we don’t take care of ourselves properly.
Research has shown that meditation can actually reduce stress levels by lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) and increasing GABA (the brain’s calming neurotransmitter). Try meditating for 15 minutes a day. Start with two or three days a week, then add another day as you get more comfortable with it.
To start, simply sit in a quiet place, close your eyes, take deep breaths through your nose, and focus on your breathing. If thoughts come into your mind, just let them go without judging yourself or thinking about what they mean—and then bring your attention back to your breath.
When stress is all-consuming, one way to take a mental break from it is to do physical activity. Even if you can’t afford a gym membership, there are many things you can do that help: taking walks, doing yoga, lifting weights. Make exercise part of your regular routine and take control back over your health. #stressrelief Click To Tweet Exercise: When stress is all-consuming, one way to take a mental break from it is to do physical activity.
What can lead to stress? It’s difficult to say. Perhaps it’s being in debt, losing a job, or having an overall unhealthy lifestyle. The causes are unlimited and can stem from many sources in your life; but with a little care and introspection, you can nip stress in the bud before it cripples you. Check out these stress-relieving habits today!