10 Tips for a Less Stress Life

In today’s world sometimes it is hard just making it through the day without my head popping off.

The constant distractions, continuous emails, phone calls, office drop-ins, it seems to never end.

As my days and career got busier, I started realizing I needed to find ways to center myself and keep me somewhat sane during the day without taking out all my frustrations on my assistant, friends and co-workers.

Over the years I have found several small triggers that work for me (most of the time.)  Without a prescription for Valium or Xanax, these little reminders have allowed me to make it to 5PM without assaulting anyone out of frustration.

(OK, I realize I have an awesome job, work with amazing people and get to do things I love, so I am being a bit tongue in cheek here, but you get my drift, we all need a little help now and then!)

Tip 1:  A sunrise is good for the soul.  I am fortunate that I live four blocks from the beach where a sunrise is like a Picasso every day, but a sunrise happens most everywhere on earth, try it once and you will be hooked.  Some days I share my sunrise with you here on the blog or on my Social Media outlets, other days I keep them to myself (selfish I know.) Make time for a sunrise, once you see that beauty you will be hooked and getting up at a ridiculously early hour quickly becomes worthwhile.

9.19 1

(Singer Island, FL 9.19.12)

Tip 2:  Ground Yourself.  As part of my morning ritual I do a 3 or 4 minute devotional, just to get perspective on what is important in life.  I have a daily devotional APP on my phone, I also have Podcast that download automatically.  What works for me may not work for you, but find something that will put your mind in the right place before you begin the day, it helps.

I use “The Upper Room” for my daily devotional, I have podcast downloads from “TED Radio Hour on NPR,” “Daily Hope with Rick Warren,” “Everyday Moments with Joyce Meyer,” and “Joel Osteen.”

There are countless podcasts that you can download and most of them are FREE, try one or try 10 until you find something you want to listen to and that fits your time constraints then go for it!

Tip 3:  Recap the Day, First Thing in the Morning.  My assistant and I meet every morning at 8:30.  The purpose of the meeting is for us to review what we have on deck for that day.  We discuss what we have to do, we review calendars and we take a minute to look at what is coming up.  When you take time to recap the day first thing, it helps set the pace for what is to come and the surprises that inevitably pop up can be dealt with more efficiently.

Tip 4:  Find inspiration through the day.  One of the aspects of my job is Social Media, yes, I get paid to be on Facebook and Twitter.   For me this makes the next tip I am going to give you easier, however I think it can be done by anyone…. FIND INSPIRATION every day.  Google “inspiration.”  YouTube “inspiration.”  Follow inspiring people’s Facebook or Twitter feeds and through the day take a minute to let something positive seep into your brain.  We are surrounded by an over abundance of negativity every day, I will never tell an employee they can’t take a couple of minutes through the day to watch an inspiring video or read a poem etc, as long as the work is getting done I think it helps.  (SHAMELESS PLUG:  If nothing else you can always get my “Words to Live By” post each day here on the blog! https://notesfromasouthernkitchen.com/2013/05/15/words-to-live-by-59/ )

Find an “inspiration buddy.”  For me, that comes in the form of my nephew Zack.  Most days he will send me at least one text showcasing an inspiring quote or comment, I never know when it will come, but make time for it when it does as I know it will help me through the day.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had an “inspiration buddy,” imagine people sharing something positive with others each and every day, that could really make the world a better place!

One of my best tricks is, God chimes in everyday with a message directly to my phone.

Years ago a friend told me he had God call alarm every day, when the alarm went off on the phone the word “GOD” popped up.  I implemented the program then and now every day at 11:15AM I get a message from the big man.

God

One of the neat things about our smarter than ever phones is, I can change the message periodically, yes, I know what it is going to say, but still….

Tip 5:  Mental health breaks.  At least once, everyday I get up from my desk and take a walk of 10 – 15 minutes.  I clear my head  and just step back from what is going on.  By giving myself a mental health break, I come back rejuvenated and ready to continue on with the day.

Tip 6:  Clean out the In-Box.  Before I leave work each day, I go through all my emails and dispense with them.  Many still sit in the file, but I go through open and review each one so I know that the major “stuff” is taken care of before I go home.

Tip 7:  Find my happy place.  I make sure I go to my happy place every day.  I have several different happy places I can visit and I make sure to go to at least one for a minimum of 30 minutes at the end of each day.  I may go to the beach, I may go to my writing-table, I may go to the backyard,  or I may go to my in-home sanctuary, but I go and when I am there I do nothing but nourish myself.

My nourishment may come from the sun or sound of the waves on the beach, or from writing an article for the blog or pre-posting items that will appear at my desk, or in my sanctuary I curl up on an antique sofa pull out a journal or book and reflect.  Whichever I choose I make sure that the time in uninterrupted and devoted to my brain cleanse.

Tip 8:  Gratitude Jar  Remember the gratitude jar……

Gratitude Jar 4.30

I promise it works!

Tip 9:  Laugh.  Seriously, every day you must find something to laugh about.  Surround yourself with people who can make you laugh, or watch a tv show, or listen to a podcast or just fake it and make yourself laugh…. but laugh!

Tip 10:  The weekly Oasis.  Every Sunday afternoon I have a standing date with myself.  I spend time reflecting on the week that was and the week coming up.  I have books that I read that help me in my own personal growth.  I usually only read one chapter per week, this way I am able to commit to the book and really concentrate on what I am reading.

Right now I am in the middle of a series of  John C. Maxwell books, because I enjoy his message and his style of writing, but find someone who inspires YOU and read, it relaxes, inspires and helps you grow!

JCM 1  JCM 2  JCM 3  JCM 4

We all have crap in our lives that get us in a lather.  Some of it can’t be avoided, others can.

A couple of years ago I made a decision to eliminate the things in my life that I didn’t enjoy.  Now obviously some things you can’t eliminate, but some you can and should.  Life is tough enough without us allowing bad stuff to occupy any space in our hearts.

No day is ever perfect and no day is completely void of stress, but the tips I have outlined above will help eliminate some of the muck in our lives, we’re only here for a short time in the overall scheme of things, I am doing my best to enjoy my time as much as I can!

Have other tips?  Email me at notesfromasouthernkitchen@gmail.com and I may post them here.