Stressors are anything that trigger your body’s stress response. Modern life contains plenty of daily stressors, which means that you need to be ready with strategies for avoiding stress when possible. Unmanaged stress contributes to a range of health problems, including heart disease.
These tips can help you avoid stressors:
- Change whatever situations you can.
- Avoid traffic by taking public transportation or carpool to have pleasant conversation as a positive distraction.
- Limit time spent with people who stress you out.
- Allow yourself plenty of time to get errands or a project done.
- Turn off technology, especially before bedtime so stress can’t interfere with your sleep.
- Get or stay organized.
- Use a master calendar on the wall or on paper to coordinate work and family activities. Consider color-coding it for each person.
- Schedule time each day to be physically active and time to unwind and relax. Then don’t cancel it.
- Keep an on-going “to do” list, either on paper, on your phone or on your computer.
- Limit general distractions, such as your e-mail or phone, when trying to meet deadlines or when spending time with family and friends.
- Take time to map out your errands and/or your meals for the week. A little preparation can be a time-saver in the long run.
- Learn how to say no.
- Of course, you can’t say no to everything. But within reason, do not let yourself be convinced to accept more responsibility than you are willing and able to handle. No one knows the challenges you have better than you.
- Remember that just because you can fit something into your schedule, doesn’t mean you should. Taking on additional responsibilities requires that you give up something else that is important to you - such as much-needed relaxation time.
- If you would like to be involved, but can’t take on the full requested responsibility, suggest “I can’t do ___, but I could do ____.”