Always find you’re running late or rushing?
Never feel refreshed after a good break?
Frustrated in traffic?
Tired and exhausted… a lot.
You may be stressed.
What are the signs and symptoms of stress?
- Preoccupation and distraction
- Feeling on edge
More and more people are experiencing stress. And I put it down to one thing and one thing only… our busy lives! *Of course, there are other reasons for stress, but for most people our busy lives is the culprit.
Our busy lives create “pressure”. Then, if you add one small inconvenience – e.g. stuck driving behind a slow car, spilt orange juice on the floor, telemarketing phone call – you may combust!
Our lives are so busy, why?
Simplicity is becoming extinct. The simple life of a one-income family, regular home dinners and Sunday social outings, no longer exists. Instead;
- Both partner’s in a relationship tend to work or study.
- Work requires more than 9-5 hours and often work at home.
- Congested traffic adds to travel time.
- Kids and teenagers are participating in multiple extra-curricular activities.
- We are under pressure to afford inner city living.
- We need to study hard at school and uni, to secure a uni place or a job, respectively.
What’s worse, is we all feel trapped in our lifestyles and unsure of how we can simplify our lives. So, what to do??
Here are my best tips:
#Tip 1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. For example, don’t buy a home with an enormous mortgage that you can barely afford. Be realistic and aim for a life that is affordable and achievable.
#Tip 2. Make your breaks “quality”. Binge watching Netflix or scrolling through social media may be relaxing…ish… but it is not a“quality” break. Break ideas include: having a long shower, meeting up with friends, going for a walk, going to the movie, and creating something artistic.
#Tip 3. Play to your strengths and recruit help. Tackle the things you’re good at or enjoy doing, but outsource where you can.
#Tip 4. Reduce your kids extra-curricular activities. Extra curricular activities creates stress for parents and children. Perhaps ask your children to pick 1-2 favourite activities. Make sure you’re all home for at least four nights per week.
#Tip 5. Enjoy the small things. For example, going to the supermarket may seem like a chore, but try to make it enjoyable – smile at others, be kind to the old lady struggling along, chat to the check-out person.
#Tip 6. Find a job you enjoy. Your job takes up most of your time, pick something enjoyable.
#Tip 7. Practise mindfulness. Stop, Breathe & Think and Smiling Mind are excellent apps that are both practical, easy to use and free.
#Tip 8. Maintain perspective. Things can always be worse. Use this to ground yourself and view things clearly for what they are. For example, a work stress is just a work stress, it’s not life changing or threatening. Imagine if it was? How would you view your work stress then?
#Tip 9. Say “no” to obligations that don’t make you happy. Sure, occasionally you need to do the “right thing” but carefully pick when and who you’re going to make this sacrifice for.
#Tip 10. Create boundaries around work. Decide on a time to switch off from work, and literally “switch off” your phone and emails.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also enjoy reading – How Aligned to Your Values are You? – as this article helps you evaluate where you are spending your time on this planet.
How Can Peaceful Mind Psychology Help?
We are a team of warm and professional psychologists based in Melbourne, who are well trained and experienced in treating Stress. We use Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT) for treatment of Stress. If you would like some professional assistance contact us at Peaceful Mind Psychology.