The next few months are going to be insane for me. I have a major training initiative at work. On top of that – live a healthier lifestyle, feed my faith, keep my household going, make time for my husband and loved ones, run my little side hustle, and find time for myself. Stress is unavoidable when there are many things going on in life. I think it’s imperative to have stress management skills.
I write these as reminders to myself, but I also hope this will be a helpful list for others too.
Go for a walk
Preferably outside to get some fresh air and to clear your mind.
Follow a routine
Every evening I:
- prepare my snacks and lunch
- make sure my purse and backpack are ready to go
- check that my alarms are turned on
I also keep everything in the same spot. My backpack and purse are always by the mudroom and my lunch bag is always on the kitchen island. I am not a morning person (the only time I am is when I’m on vacation, haha), so the less I have to think about where things are the better.
I know some people also plan their outfits the evening before. I might have to try doing that too.
My favorite recipes are easy meals. My ideal time is 30 to 45 minutes for prepping and cooking. Sometimes I am so mentally exhausted from work that I don’t even want to cook anything. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with ordering takeout from time to time. There are also rare days where I don’t even want to deal with washing dishes, so we’ll use disposable plates and utensils. Again, nothing wrong with that.
Some may think ordering takeout or using paper plates is lazy, but sometimes it’s worth having an extra hour or so that is freed up for you by not having to cook or do dishes.
Create an organization system that works for you
I used to try and organize my life with multiple resources. I would juggle between paper planners, notebooks, Post It Notes, work calendars, and regular wall calendars. My method was ineffective and I regrettably had things fall through the cracks. I’ve narrowed down my system to just using my work calendar and using my phone. I also still use regular wall calendars, however I don’t ever write in them. I just use them as a quick reference to glance at.
The great thing about a Smartphone is that it’s basically a mini laptop! I love the Notes app on my iPhone. I can easily create folders so I can organize various notes… I have folders for everything. I’m not kidding – I have a folder for my small business, a folder of things to do, a folder for wish lists, a folder for goals, etc. I especially love that I can conveniently log onto any computer with Internet access to update all of my Notes via http://www.icloud.com. In addition to Notes, you have immediate access to other apps such as Photos, Reminders, Pages, and Keynote.
Another app that I really like using is the AnyList app. Sean and I use it mostly for grocery shopping. You add items to it and it will automatically categorize your item. So for example, if you add Ranch Dressing and Soy Sauce to the list (this is literally a real life example, haha), they will go underneath the Condiments & Dressings category. If you add bottled water and soda they would go underneath the Beverages category. I also love this app because Sean gets a notification immediately if I modify a list since it updates in real time.
Plan something to look forward to
For me, planning vacations is just as fun as going on them! Planning is one of my favorite stress relievers – even if the trip is months away or if I’m even just daydreaming. Looking at food menus at Disneyland and Walt Disney World makes me happy, haha.
Make yourself a priority
You owe it to yourself to set aside some “me time.”
Sometimes my “me time” is putting on a face mask, painting my nails, and enjoying a bubble bath. Sometimes it’s blogging. Sometimes it’s crafting. Sometimes it’s taking a drive alone – I LOVE listening to loud music with the windows rolled down (during summer of course) and feeling the wind whip through my hair. Sometimes it’s sitting outside and listening to nature. Sometimes it’s shopping (okay fine, a lot of the time… Ha!).
Often times it’s sitting in front of the TV to watch reruns of I Love Lucy and Everybody Loves Raymond.
Talk to your spouse / significant other
You know the saying – communication is the foundation of a strong marriage. I gave Sean a head’s up a few months ago that life will get pretty hectic and the first thing he said was, “What can I do to help you, baby?” That sweet gesture alone meant so much to me.
I’d love to hear your ideas for handling stress. Thanks for reading!