How are you doing managing daily stress? I don’t believe many of us are strangers to heightened stress levels in today’s time. Productivity, success, and achievement are guiding principles of our society, which can create a very real sense of pressure. In managing our daily stress, not only do we need to create boundaries surrounding our work, but we also need to ensure we are being kind to ourselves when we fall short or feel stress. Remember—we are humans, not machines!
Write It Down
A constant running stream of thought or mental to-do list can quickly become overwhelming and anxiety-inducing. This is true with emotion and with life/work tasks. I always recommend to clients to write—journal, make lists, even dictate messages to yourself for later. Getting the information out of your head and into a physical medium relieves mental pressure. Checking even small tasks off a list also feels amazing.
You will be more productive with your time if you structure that time. This includes breaks! Our minds overall need rest, of course, but also benefit from small breaks in focus to remain stimulated. Make sure you are limiting and timing these, or the “break” will become a complete lapse in work, but they are an essential piece. Additionally, if you find you are burning out on one thing, allow yourself to switch to something else. Transitioning from a mentally draining task like computer work into a physical one like doing the dishes can actually be refreshing.
Tackling every single thing on your to-do list may not be achievable in a day’s time. Deciding on a few priorities for the day or chunk of time during which you are working may alleviate some anxiety. The rest can wait until tomorrow or the next day, or even until next week. Finishing a shorter list of tasks will feel like more of an accomplishment than staring at daunting essay of work. It would have been impossible to complete all of that in a day, regardless.
Setting realistic goals for ourselves can be difficult, especially when there’s a “perfect” outcome or scenario in our heads. While it can be difficult not to fall into the trap of self-criticism when we don’t complete everything we set out to, tearing ourselves down certainly won’t help. Give yourself some grace, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are okay. In the grand scheme of things, this small thing won’t really matter and isn’t worth the cost of your peace.