Destress your life in three easy steps… Sounds too good to be true? Not really! Here are three powerful and easy steps you can do to reduce stress in your every day life:
Destress Your Life Step #1: Say “NO” more often!
Destress your life step #1 has to do with understanding what stress is all about. We feel stressed when we have to many things to do in too less time, and then we are overwhelmed! For an ambitious business woman, there seems to be an endless TO-DO list waiting do be checked out as done and there never seems to be enough time. Now, you need to cross all of the activities which are really not:
a) earning you money
b) making you happy!
You need more “NO”s in your vocabulary!
- “NO” to activities which you can delegate to your team mate or your VA.
- “NO” to people who are always calling you only when they need something from you and they are never there when you need support.
- “NO” to hanging out with people who do not ignight your spirit and which leave you drained after meeting them (a.k.a. “emotional vampires”).
It is very important to plan and manage how you spend your time (planners, apps, organisers, working with a life coach… can do a great job here), but it is also essential that you set healthy limits for other people, so that they don’t start planing your time for you:
- “Hey, while returning from work, you can do this from me…”
- “Hey, you can give me a lift tomorrow/ go shopping with me/ go to a doctor visit with me/ meet me there….”
- “Hey, I have this important _________ and I need your help. Can you please ….?”
It is not your responsibility to help other people with their work (especially if you’re swamped with your own!). But, once again, if you do not set the healthy boundaries and do not actually let people know that you are busy and that your TO-DO list is non negotiable, they will start planning your time for you (with their activities and their own work!)
Here are some of the things you can do to prevent other people to mess up with your time:
- Carry your planner around with yourself and show them to people who want to “load” you with “helping” them (for marking free time and time you plan do dedicate to self care, you can use the colourful pen of your choice and write “important work”).
- When another person asks you for help or for extra work instead of saying “YES” all the time, like on auto pilot, start saying “Let me have a look in my planner and see if I’m available“. Later on, when you REALLY check with yourself can you afford to dedicate your time to that particular activity, you can let them know that you have an “important work”.
- If help includes services that you are usually charging for, you can say: “I will be more than delighted to help you with _____. I’m charging (this much money) for ______”. Don’t allow people to pick your brain for free anymore! You worked hard and you have invested a lot of your money and time to learn what you know!
Destress Your Life Step #2: Destress Your Diet
Destress your life by incorporating more detox food into your daily diet! Green leafy vegetables like spinach or kale have plenty of magnesium and essential vitamines, which can help you fight stress and boost your energy level, so that you can manage your daily tasks more efficiently! If you don’t like eating them, you can blend them in smoothies (if you’re lazy or too busy to blend them, you can buy them ready made in healthy food stores, so no excuses, ladies!).
Drinking water throughout the day, infused with fresh mint leaves will help you concentrate and focus better on your daily tasks.
Having healthy fats in your daily diet (nuts like almond or walnuts, extra virgin olive oil, avocados, sea fish…) will give you high energy level, and help you to stay calm throughout the day.
A cup of herbal tea with vervain, melissa, or lavender can help you relax when you are feeling stressed.
Make sure that you don’t skip your breakfast as it is essential for maintaining good health and high energy level during the day. Not having the time for breakfast is a lame excuse, as you can at least have some cereals, yoghurt with berries, and ready made smoothie (from the bottle or healthy food store).
Destress Your Life Step #3: Check Your Priorities (In Life And Business)
One of the things I always ask my life coaching clients to do, if they are feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, is time activity diary. Here’s how it goes:
- for two weeks, note down how you spend your time;
- spend your time as you usually would, not in the way that your time activity diary would “make you feel proud”;
- note down activity of every hour in your day, since the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep (where did you spend it, with whom, and how);
- do it for two weeks (as that much time it takes to get significant insights about your daily habits).
Now, it may seem that you are already aware of how you’re spending your time, right? Well, it may not be so. There is a certain amount of time which just slips without us being aware of it.
Many of my coaching clients get surprised (some of them even shocked!) when they count at the end that they’re spending two hours a week hanging on social media, or more than twenty hours a week watching junk television program, or three and half hours per week talking over phone with girlfriends!
Once you track down how and where you’re spending your precious time, you need to check your priorities and cut out all the activities which are unnecessary in order to make the time for those which are necessary!
You need to get honest with yourself about your priorities and admit are you really giving them the PRIORITY in your life?
What are your top priorities? Can you claim that your priority is health, if you “don’t have the time” for breakfast in the morning, to be physically active, or to cook a healthy meal? If you don’t have the time for a healthier lifestyle, because you’re too busy with work, then health is really not your priority: your work is! But, in the long run, you know if you don’t give your health a priority, and you get sick, your work will suffer too (greatly!), as well as your overall satisfaction in life! Same goes with other priorities in your life (like your business or relationships).
If you are feeling too overwhelmed and you are very much struggling with achieving work-life balance, consider working with a coach.