Things can only get better, but until they do you must remember to include self-care in your daily routine. Below is a list of key items that can assist you in making sure you're keeping your stress levels under control and BREATHE...
1. List the things that cause you stress. Change the way you think about these stressors by putting a positive spin on them.
2. Practice being optimistic.
3. Reframe things in the context of a larger positive plan.
4. Recognize that troubles are temporary.
5. Don't blame yourself needlessly.
6. Put things into perspective.
7. Let go of what you can’t control; take control of what you can.
8. Look over your list of commitments. Highlight the unavoidable responsibilities. Eliminate the voluntary ones that don’t fulfill you.
9. Perfectionism only leads to stress.
10. Know your limits physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Set boundaries with other people—and yourself.
11. Get organized, but don’t overwhelm yourself with the task.
12. When faced with a large task, break it down into smaller tasks. Prioritize tasks and deal with the most important or most unpleasant issue first.
13. Make leisure activities and hobbies a priority in your life. Enjoyment of life prolongs life and reduces stress. Have a sense of humor.
14. Just 20 minutes a day of walking will add years to your life and condition your body for maximum enjoyment of life and reduction of stress.
15. Avoid sugary snacks, smoking, alcohol, drugs, overeating and caffeine.
16. Use the Food Pyramid to guide you in your eating. Plenty of fruits and vegetables are necessary for optimum health.
17. Know your sleep requirements. Make sure that you get as much as you need nightly. Retiring and rising at the same hour every day (not sleeping in on weekends) reduces sleep disturbances which can lead to stress.
18. Make time for relaxation. This can mean doing absolutely nothing. Learning to relax can include many techniques including meditation, prayer and deep breathing.
19. During the day, take regular breaks. Most experts recommend a ten-minute rest every hour.
20. Find time to be alone for a little while each day.
21. Talk to a friend or family member (but not one who stresses you out!)
22. Physical contact with loved ones reduces stress. Get or give a hug, hold hands with your spouse, cuddle on the couch, even stroking a pet helps.
23. Social interaction is important even if it's through Zoom or Facetime!