If you encounter stress daily, you aren’t alone. But it’s becoming more usual than unusual as the pace of life quickens and intensifies. We need a break, a pause in our every day and a quiet respite from the intense ferocity that is life in this era.
We can take the break, or we can break ourselves. Stress first attacks our mind and spirit, then proceeds to crush our emotions and body, eventually leading to fatigue, exhaustion and burn out. None of us is exempt; we need to alleviate the stress.
Here are some key ways to help you beat the relentless tension that shows up at your door daily.
- Wake up earlier! Get a jump start on the day! It’s the habit of millionaires, and it’s how winners win! Many CEOs and other leaders rise as soon as 4 a.m. If that knocked you to the floor, think about it. Maybe you can’t do 4 a.m. for some reason (e.g. kids, responsibilities, job), but start with 30 minutes or an hour earlier than usual. You’ll be ahead of the curve, you’ll do a lot of work before anyone else starts their day, and you’ll be amazed at the results!
- Schedule and routine! You’ll find power by following a pre-determined schedule. Writers generally write at the same time every day. Some people set a specific time and place to read or work out each day. Others reserve “think” time at a particular time of the day. Some will only check and respond to emails and phone calls at a specific time. Set your schedule and stick to it!
- Get the tough things out of the way first. In other words, do not procrastinate! If it was on your list yesterday or the day before or even last week, just do it now! It’ll remove the pressure and allow you to get on to other things!
- Find time for you and just take a breath! You have to set this time aside and be deliberate about it, or you just won’t do it! It’s essential, if not critical! Read, draw, reflect, meditate or simply do nothing but watch a sunset! Make the time and relax! It’s okay!
- Get stuff done! Regardless of your personality style — or perhaps because of your personality style! — prioritize and focus! Write down your to-do list and don’t multi-task! “Get stuff done” requires focus and tunnel vision! What one thing can you do next that will set you up for success the rest of the day and week?
- Sleep! Yes, most successful entrepreneurs and CEOs get seven or more hours of sleep. Every night! Be consistent. Set your bedtime and get to bed! You’ll feel better when you get up earlier, and you’ll be more productive!
- Do something for someone else! Keep your focus outward, and it will direct your thoughts away from your daily stress! Becoming a giver is a crucial ingredient to your success. Two things: 1. Pay it forward; 2. Help someone else who can never repay you!
- Exercise. Folks, the older I get, the more I learn you just gotta do it! Whether it’s a stationary bike, a long walk every day, a cardio workout or something else, just move!
- Do something about your finances! It doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you may or may not have, this area almost always lands on people’s top 5 list of stress factors. Do something about it! Call a creditor, put together a budget, organize a time each month to pay bills. If you don’t know where start, call me, I can help.
- Tackle your most significant stressor! Whether it’s health, finances, a particular relationship, your job or something else, examine why it’s a burden and take action. Identify, investigate and change something about that circumstance or situation that will take some of the stress away!
Kickstart the week by de-stressing an area of your life. As John Maxwell likes to say: “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.” Be calculating, intentional and deliberate in your approach.
Kick the stress out once and for all!