Minimizing the Stress in Your Life

Monday, October 24, 2022

Everyone gets stressed out from time to time but if you feel like you're constantly stressed because of everything on your plate on a daily basis, minimizing the stressors can be a huge help.  That's what I've worked on over the last 2 years and it's made a huge difference in my quality of life. Here's some of the ways you can minimize the stress.

Simplify Your Home
Since home related tasks like cleaning, organizing, and cooking can add stress AND take up time, you want to streamline and simplify as much as you can.  For cleaning, take the things you'd like to do on a weekly basis and break them down into days where you can work on them.  Maybe a little bit of cleaning every day works or you'd rather dedicate a couple hours on a couple days each week to those tasks.  There are also tasks you can do every evening to make you start on the right foot the next day like clearing and wiping down the sink and counters before bed.  You can also work on decluttering and organizing by breaking those tasks down by day, working on little bits at a time. Make a list that works for you. Some people want to work on decluttering and organizing all drawers on the same day, or maybe going room by room is easier.  Once you complete the initial declutter, maintain your spaces by ensuring things are ALWAYS put back in their place after use. I do this so that I no longer have to take 5-10 minutes every evening to put things away. Everything is always in it's place as soon as it can be. 

When it comes to cooking, meal planning is key. I meal plan for two weeks at a time.  All of the things I buy at the grocery store are exactly what I need for those 2 weeks of meals including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.  I do the same with toiletries so I'm always on a rolling schedule and I never end up running too low on any one thing.  Meal planning is great because if you stick to your meal plan while you shop, you shouldn't have an excessive amount of extras at home in your cabinets.  This also eliminates food waste. If we do happen to have some extra things at home, I think of meals to make with those ingredients and add it to my calendar when I do my next meal planning session. 

Simplify Your Finances
Obviously, finances become easier when you get on a budget. Once you do that, everything goes a lot smoother because you know exactly where to allocate each paycheck as they come in.  You can also begin working on financial goals like paying off debt or building up savings.  Make sure you write out all your expenses and immediately eliminate things you don't need.  Whether it's magazine subscriptions or streaming services, the less you have to pay for, the better. If you aren't utilizing it, stop paying for it.  

Signing up for automatic bill pay is super helpful as well because you'll no longer need to remember to pay your bills on time.  But don't sign up for it unless you are already organized with your finances and have a budget, otherwise you could end up in trouble if the bills get taken out when there's not enough money in your bank account to cover them.  Again, my budget post I linked to above should be a huge help for you. 

Set Boundaries
Boundaries are so important and can really be crucial to simplifying your life and minimizing stressors because many things that overstep our personal boundaries add stress.  Say no to volunteer opportunities you don't have time for.  Commit to signing off at the end of your work day rather than losing track of time and working into the evening.  Say no to social events that you truly don't want to do.  Nothing is worse than stressing over overbearing friends or commitments you make that you truly don't want to do. Boundaries will help eliminate the things that stress you out. If you work from home, it's even more important to set work/home boundaries. 

Take Care of the Stress
If there are certain things stressing you out that are a one time thing, as in something that won't stress you out once it's taken care of...take care of those things! Make a list, no matter how long, and set dates to have these tasks completed by.  Maybe you need to clean out that spare bedroom before company comes for the holidays, or you need to drop your lawn mower off to be serviced before next season. Those things will be out of sight and mind once you begin working on them.  

Schedule Me Time
Whatever me time is to you...schedule it and prioritize it. I designate every Sunday as Self Care Sunday where I reserve the right to say no to any plans and can just do whatever I want to make the transition from weekend to work week easier.  Sometimes I clean and catch up on household tasks or projects but other times I just sit around on my porch and read all day.  Every 2 weeks you should schedule a free day for yourself to do something that makes you feel good.  

While these all seem like simple suggestions, many of us don't do them, which is why I hope this post can get the ball rolling for you.

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