by LAURA CZERWINSKI
How many times have you been told that it would be a good idea to lower your stress? Typically, those words are coming out of the mouths of your doctors, spouse or a good friend.
Now, after hearing this piece of advice, how many times have you thought to yourself “easier said than done?” I’m guessing it’s been more than a dozen times.
We’ve all heard a plethora of ways to reduce stress. A relaxing bath, a massage, “me time” with a good book and even the newer “Netflix and chill” therapy. These are all great ideas but not always convenient to implement on a regular basis to possibly help you bring your stress levels down a notch or two on a more long-term basis.
Something you might want to consider trying is eliminating small daily annoyances that might be building up and contributing to your stress levels. I’d like to share some out-of-the-box ideas you may not have thought of that might help you along the way.
- Does keeping a clean home stress you out? Keep cleaning supplies in each bathroom so it’s easier to give the mirror a quick wipe down. Reduce kitchen clutter by getting rid of superfluous items. (I’m looking at you, coffee mugs and large, trendy, insulated drink containers!)
- Make your bed every morning. Assigning yourself a chore to do first thing when you are waking up may not sound ideal, but the effort will more than pay off when you are headed to a welcoming, cozy bed after a long day.
- Getting a manicure? Consider using clear polish or keeping the color neutral. This way, minor chips won’t be as noticeable and you won’t feel the urgency to take care of it ASAP.
- If you have kids, encourage them to help with age-appropriate chores. Imagine not having to empty the dishwasher, take out the trash or vacuum on a daily basis. It may take some time for them to develop a new habit, but giving them a way to contribute to taking care of the family home is always a positive!
- When putting away laundry, don’t fold your underwear. I get that some people like to be organized and keep things neat. Wrinkles don’t matter with this piece of clothing. Just throw it in the designated drawer. Done. Bonus: This will also save you a decent amount of time which you can bank towards other to-do items. Do the math; it will surprise you!
- Try to stop automatically assuming that others have negative or bad intentions. It seems lately that most people are hardwired to assume the worst. Don’t take offense when you know deep down that it wasn’t intended. It’s best to keep that weight off your shoulders.
- Politely decline when you are asked to do things that you have no time for or interest in. In the pilot episode of Friends. Joey and Chandler are helping Ross get settled in his new apartment. Joey asks Phoebe if she wants to help and she replies “Oh, I wish I could, but I don’t want to.” Ok, that response is not exactly polite, but you get the picture. Freeing yourself of unnecessary obligations can be, well, freeing!
Did any of the tips inspire you to make a change or encourage you to come up with some easy ideas on your own? We’d love to hear about it in our Facebook group!
Disclaimer: Author is not a medical professional and this is not intended to be medical advice. Always seek the help of your physician when considering new ways to control your stress.