So, how do we reduce our overall stress levels and reduce the negative impacts of this fast-paced world we find ourselves thrust into facing day after day? These are a few simple guidelines I always review with my clients seeking strategies to reduce feeling overwhelmed:
CREATE BALANCE IN YOUR DAILY ROUTINE:
Often, people undergoing counseling treatment will say to me that they feel they do not have enough hours in the day to check off each item on their To-Do lists. First, I ask about their level of technology use, the number of hours they work in a typical day, the type of work they perform and the typical amount of sleep, nutrition and exercise they get regularly during the week. In that simple evaluation of daily routine, I typically notice spots in the day where most people who are overwhelmed or overstressed because they have a vital link missing in their daily self-care chain. They are either over-doing something (overworking, taking care of others before themselves) at the expense of not doing something else enough (exercise, getting sunshine, eating a balanced diet). I is often a combination of both in most evaluations I complete. This helps to identify where people are overextending themselves in some areas of their lives and not indulging in the experiences that make life enjoyable and worthwhile in the fist place
I encourage you to look at your personal level of life balance. See where the scales in your life may be tipped too far in one direction. Once you figure where your life imbalance is, you can begin making improvements in your daily routine, focusing on making a strength out of a weakness and trying to make time for yourself and the activities that recharge your emotional, physical and spiritual batteries. This may mean you exercise or read more and work less late nights at the office. You may opt to participate in Sunday blackout hours and turn off your telephone and spend time reconnecting with loved ones or meeting new friends. You may decide to spend less time with the television on and more time delving into your creative side. Whatever it is that you notice in your own personal routine evaluation, do what you can to ensure that you have better work-life balance and you will notice your enjoyment levels raise as your stress melts away.