Managing stress requires that you not only recognize and respect the stresses in your life but also that you take steps to reduce stress and achieve some control over it.
Analyze Your Life
The first step is to analyze your life and figure out all possible sources of stress, big and small, obvious and subtle, trivial and major. Also examine how you react to those stresses in your life. Some you may breeze through. Others consistently present real difficulty to you.
Figure out which stresses can be eliminated right away and then do so without delay. Next, figure out which stresses can be eliminated or at least reduced over the next weeks, months, and year. Some stresses may be entirely outside your control. You can learn either how to change your response to such stresses or how to accept what you can't change. Resolve not to place yourself in unnecessarily stressful situations by taking on too much, improper planning and not knowing when to say no.
Learn How To Say No
The second step is to learn how to say no without apology or guilt, whether to your lover, child, employer or best friend. Women have been trained to be obliging and accommodating and find it difficult to say no when asked to help others and/or assist in community events, even when they are already overburdened.
Forcing yourself to say no is a useful tool especially if you often find yourself taking on too much and regretting it later. An assertiveness training course may assist you in developing this skill. The more you practice saying NO firmly, and confidently, the easier it will get.
Get Help When You Need It
The third step is to get help when you need it. Enlist the help of your mate, friends and relatives. Don't be embarrassed to admit that you can't do everything. You can't fulfil everyone's needs all of the time. If you and your partner are both working, make sure there is a fair division of labour when you both come home from work. Too often, women do a full day's work and then run themselves ragged doing the lion's share of the house work and being the main person responsible for the kids.
Lower your standards of housekeeping. Having a house that looks like a page out of Good Housekeeping may not be worth the price of your sanity. Let some chores go undone. Let the kids pull their own weight. If you can afford any help, even a few hours a week, don't feel guilty about hiring someone.
Arrange Private Time For Yourself
The fourth step is to arrange some private time for yourself every day for half an hour, and every week for at least half a day. Women, especially those with small children, sometimes don't have a moment to themselves and need to make a concerted effort to arrange a little time for themselves. This time is not for paying the bills or catching up on household chores. Instead take a hot bath, read a magazine, daydream, get a massage, or visit a friend.
The fifth step is to make sure you are eating as well as possible. Avoid junk food and fast food. Emphasize fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, fish and chicken. In times of stress, your body needs an abundant supply of good nutrients.
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