Let’s face it. We live in a stressful culture with an emphasis on being able to do everything all the time and making it look easy. Work full time, take care of the house, spend time with your spouse, your children, your friends, your family, and yourself. Unless you have a day stretcher and find a way to get more than the allotted 24 hours, it is just not possible to be all things to all people all the time. Here is a list of some general guidelines and suggestions that may help you achieve more balance in your life with the result that you feel less stress and pressure.
1. Every morning, take 5 minutes to breathe deeply and stretch your body.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast that includes non-processed foods and drink some water.
3. Whether at work or at home, take a 10-minute break and stretch, drink some water, and smile. Smiling makes us feel happier.
4. Take time to eat a healthy lunch. If you can’t buy a lunch, bring a healthy lunch with you. If the weather is nice, sit outside to eat your lunch. At the end of your lunch, stretch and drink some water.
5. Don’t watch the clock and wish your work day over, which is the equivalent of wishing your life away. Instead, focus on what you are doing and enjoy that moment. If you hate your job, give yourself permission to find a new job.
6. Find something in your day that makes you smile and share it with someone else. Smiling can be contagious.
7. Have dinner together as a family. It is the best time of the day when everyone can share their day and have that bonding time. If your children are old enough, invite them to help you prepare dinner. Many children enjoy this activity and you can have wonderful conversations with you child, learning more about them and their views on life.
8. Take some time every evening after the children are in bed to have a conversation with your spouse that does not involve sitting in front of the TV. It is a good time to share your day and any ideas you have about family and/or fun things to do.
9. Go to bed early and allow yourself to get 8 to 9 solid hours of sleep. A good sleep is one of the best stress busters you will ever experience. Most of us tend to be very sleep deprived, which can lead to depression, irritability, decreased concentration and attention, lack of motivation, and even feelings of withdrawal. Sleep also enhances our physical health which contributes to our overall sense of well-being.
10. Get out of the house every weekend and don’t just get caught up in chores and things you feel you have to do. A few hours out of the house can reduce your stress level immeasurably, especially if you are doing something fun or relaxing.