So how can we manage stress when we’re under pressure and have so much to do?
Well my recommendation is to eat chocolate! Lots of it! … Just kidding … That is an unhelpful strategy, even if that is our natural go-to in times of need!
What we really need to do is a) reduce stress b) manage the stress more effectively.
Here are 4 steps to minimise and manage stress when you’re already in it.
Firstly prioritise. Make a list of what you need to do, and break it down in to achievable chunks and prioritise them. So, for example, you could have a master to do list, then break it down into days or even hours if you need to. Re-order them realistically in the appropriate days and work to that list, being careful to not let you get distracted.Feeling organised and like you have an achievable plan will immediately reduce your stress.
Set boundaries. Now more than ever it’s important to use that word ‘no’, in the nicest possible way. If you’re under pressure you’re going to have to reduce the offers you accept until you’re feeling more on top of things. There is a caveat to this though, self care ‘you’ time is important when really stressed, so allow time for this (as long as it’s healthy self care time, not trash yourself you time, to block out your worries! That won’t help you in the long run, it will only increase your anxiety).
Change your mindset. Remember you can only really experience stress if you believe that your problems are problems. So repeatedly tell yourself that it is not the end of the world if X doesn’t happen and try to relax about it. If you dig down, there are not that many problems worth getting totally stressed out about.
Practice relaxation techniques. Whether it’s meditation, yoga, a hot bath, muscle relaxation, deep breathing in the office bathroom, a massage etc, choose something that works for you and practice it religiously. Relaxation switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, the antidote to stress, so keep that up, and you will definitely feel less stressed.
I hope these help, let us know how you go !
The Mindful Mentor