Stress can take a serious toll on your mental health. Nothing throws me off my self-care game like having way too much going on. I start to feel overwhelmed and the next thing I know my exercise routine and healthy eating habits go out the window.
These habits are SO important to managing my depression and anxiety and when I let them slide my mental health can become very difficult to manage. I’ve found that the best way to prevent this from happening is to be very proactive about managing stress.
Stress can have serious consequences and is really hard on your body. You should treat it seriously and make it a priority to learn how to live a stress-free life.
All to often we feel like we have to be everything to everyone and do everything we see everyone else doing. The truth is that you only have so much time and energy. Prioritizing where you actually want to focus your efforts will help you keep from feeling too thin.
I like to set priorities for each quarter of the year. I sit down and ask myself what I want to focus on for the next 90 days.
Getting clear about what is really important to me helps me stay focused and prevents me from taking on projects that aren’t aligned with my priorities.
Spend Time With Positive People
Nothing makes my stress levels rise like being around negative people. When I’m around negative people it’s much more likely that I will also complain and focus on the negative things in my life. Being negative sucks my energy and makes me feel drained and heavy. It makes everything I need to do feel even more overwhelming and difficult.
If you’re walking through a stressful time try limiting the time that you spend with negative people. Commit to being the positive person in your workplace or family and try to redirect negative conversations by pointing out the positive.
If you don’t have positive people to be around it is SO important that you get positivity into your ears and into your life. When I was just starting my mindset and personal development journey I started listening to a TON of audiobooks and podcasts. Listening to positive messaging really helped me learn how to cope with stress in a healthy way by being more positive.
Delete Social Media
Lately, I’ve noticed so many people complaining about social media and how it brings down their confidence and is bad for their mental health. I hold an unpopular opinion that if this is the case for you then you should delete it.
The idea that you HAVE to be on social media is completely false.
You are in charge of what media you consume and how much of it you consume. It’s important to evaluate how the media you watch and read is impacting you. If you don’t want to go super hardcore and delete your social media start curating your social media feeds. Use the Konmari method and unfollow or mute anyone that doesn’t spark joy in your feed.
When you’re walking through a stressful time it’s important that you guard and protect your energy. If social media is depleting your energy you really need to evaluate what you’re consuming and make some big changes fast. If you don’t want to commit to deleting social media made time to take a detox and just delete it for a week or even a weekend.
Get a Planner
If you’re stressed out I think one of the best things you can do is get really freaking organized. I have been using the Happy Planner and I love that it is completely customizable and has plenty of room for all of my notes. I like to use the monthly and daily spread to keep track of important dates, deadlines and appointments.
When I’m feeling stressed I usually try to write a to-do list every single day. Whenever I write my to-do list I am always tempted to add every single little task I would like to get done. The problem with this is that I end up with the worlds longest to-do list and it ends up making me even more stressed. I’ve found that the best way to write daily to-do lists is to just pick three things I actually HAVE to get done and only focus on those tasks until they’re done.
There are so many planners and ways to organize it might take a while to find a system that works for you but finding a good system for planning your week can definitely help you cut down on stress.
A lot of times the feeling of being stressed out actually comes from our mindset.
Is what you’re dealing with life or death?
Is anything bad actually going to happen if you don’t get through you’re entire to-do list?
What beliefs could you choose about this situation that will make it feel better?
I used to always feel like I had too much to do and I would constantly complain about how much work I had to do. At the root of this issue was an insecurity about being insignificant that I masked by being really busy. Subconsciously I believed that being really busy and working really hard would prove to myself and to other people that I was important.
When I reframed this belief life got a lot more fun. I started to reprogram myself to believe that relaxation was one of the biggest signs of success and people who had truly achieved a lot in their life had a lot of free time.
This is an example from my life but I bet you can find some kind of weird belief or story you’re telling yourself about the stressful situation that you’re in.
If you feel like you have too much to do and it’s causing you to stress it’s time to start eliminating tasks. Make a list of everything you need to get done in the next week and brainstorm ways you can move those tasks off your plate.
What can you put off?
What can you delegate?
What plans can you cancel?
When I really sit down and get creative I can usually actually free up a significant amount of time. Most of the tasks we want to do don’t actually HAVE to get done and can be put off another week. A lot of annoying chores that suck up time can be delegated out. I got my groceries delivered last week and it didn’t even cost that much extra money. It freed up an extra hour of time for me in the evening and was such a nice treat because I was truly feeling exhausted.
If you have a lot going on ask your friends and family to help and delegate tasks to them. Most of the time when I get stressed out it’s because I’ve been trying to do everything myself and not accept any help from anyone. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed out it’s time to let other people step in and help you.
I will also look at my schedule and see if there are any obligations or plans I can get out of. It would be great to always be able to keep your word but that’s not always how life works. Usually, if you explain your situation and that you have too much going on people will be understanding and give you some grace.
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