A co-worker recently asked me how I deal with work stress. Because all this overtime? More stress, less time to deal with it. So here's my action plan, because life is more manageable with action plans.
Summary: Prioritize self-care! Self care = functionality = less stress. I am a big believer in the mind-body connection, so a lot of dealing with stress for me is making sure my body (and therefore mind) is up to the task.
1. Go to bed early. Hoard sleep like it is going out is style.
2. Eat good foods. Eat non-processed, low sugar, whole foods like avocado, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, lentils, oatmeal, salmon, and cottage cheese. Walk away from the donuts, especially on an empty stomach. Sugar + stress = crazed weasel tendencies. The temporary burst of taste is so not worth it. PS - srsly. I mean it. Even the Smarties. They do not make you smarter.
3. Meditate. Let go. When in doubt, take deep breaths.
4. Pamper with food, hot baths, and well-loved books.
5. Spend time alone to re-charge. Hi, I'm Ondrea and I'm an introvert! Go away (please).
6. Take the easy way when possible and be forgiving. Say no to obligations I will not have the energy for, let non-essential chores slide, and sometimes spend extra money for more convenience.
7. Stick to routine. Boring, yet beneficial. Also, autopilot clears headspace for other things.
8. If the stress is work related, I keep my nose to the grindstone. Eyes on the prize.
9. Keep the negativity you exude and consume to a minimum. Ruminating only extends the pain. Glom onto the positive instead. Laugh instead of cry.
10. Move your body. Walk. Stretch. Bellydance. Yoga. Play Fruit Ninja on the X-Box Kinect. Unfold your hunched shoulders.
11. When your boss tells you to go home, go home.
12. Write an action plan that gives me stepping stones. Boil life down to to-do lists. Post on blog since blog posts can't be misplaced like post-it notes can. Refer to when needed.