Saturday, May 03, 2008

Got Stress!

If you're like most people, you've got a lot on your plate. The daily cycle of activities can seem endless...responsibilities on the job, tending to the kids and spouses, rushing in to save friends and family's no wonder you're tired and stressed! Below is list of things you can do to reduce or avoid stress in your life.

~ Write down a tentative action plan for your day and keep copies at home and at work. You may not always be able to follow it to the letter but you can use it as a guideline of the day's activities.

~ Team up with other parents and take turns driving the kids to and from their after-school activities.

~ If you work outside of the home, arrange to carpool with co-workers if possible. This cuts down on the time you'll spend stressed out in traffic, pumping gas, performing maintenance on your car, etc.

~ Try to get in a physical workout every day. A quick walk in the morning or evening will increase your heart rate and circulation and give you a boost of energy. If you are a single parent with small kids and can't leave the house to take a walk, put on your favorite music CD and dance, dance, dance (the kids would love this too)!

~ If you know you are going to have to work late into the evening, don't be afraid to take a power nap for 30-45 minutes. You'll be surprised how energized you'll feel after a quick nap.

~ Make a grocery list in advance and designate one day to go grocery shopping. When you get home, take a few extra minutes to wash/clean meats, greens, fruits, etc. and store in plastic bags in the fridge or freezer. On the day you go shopping, especially if it's on a work day, pick up something nutritious but quick so you don't have to cook that same day.

~ Plan your meals for the week and cook enough food to last 2-3 days.

~ If time allows, do some "prep work" the day before (iron clothes for yourself and the kids, select clothing and set aside for the next day, pack lunches, etc.).

~ Commit to setting aside a few minutes each day for yourself. Find a quiet place to meditate, read a book, listen to relaxing music, take a long bath or do whatever brings you joy.

~ Don't try to be a superhero and save the world! Reserve your energy for things that are important to you. It's okay to gently and lovingly say "no" to the kids, friends, spouses and even bosses every now and then.

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