This is slightly modified from a much better and more comprehensive list supplied by those fine fellows at SCD Lifestyle. I’ve adapted it to suit me and I’ve seen a great reduction in my stress levels, after just 5 days! So I recommend at least giving it a go – with modifications to suit you and your lifestyle. Stress-free living could be just a week away!
- Pray every day. Read your Bible, and make this non-negotiable, even if it’s just for 10 or 15 minutes.
- Bad day make-over. If this was your last day on earth, would you like it to be this way? If not, take a step back, change your reactions to and perspectives on the events of the day, and make a concerted effort to enjoy the rest of your day.
- Get enough sleep. This has been very key for me and has made a big difference. I always find that a good night’s rest is like a reset button on my attitude and makes everything look less intimidating in the morning.
- Exercise. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week. Simply put, this is a lifeline and has giving me so much energy and an eagerness to get out of bed every day.
- Focus on getting 3 things done today. My “To Do” list often spans pages and pages, and results in the inevitable Stress Paralysis that keeps me from getting anything done at all. Choosing three important (as opposed to urgent) tasks to complete each day gives me a sense of accomplishment, makes my day seem manageable, and ensures that some of the important-yet-neglected items on that to do list are getting the attention they need.
- Stretch. I was giving neck exercises by my physiotherapist and doing them every hour makes me more relaxed and less stressed. It also clears my brain and gives me a needed break from whatever I’m busy with. For some reason I feel a lot less overwhelmed by my day knowing that these babies are waiting for me at the end of the next hour. It’s like I have my own Good Joint Health magic switch.
- Start the day happy. This one surprised me at first, until I analysed my day. I usually squeeze as much sleep into a “night” as possible (usually about 5 hours, from 2am – 7am). Then I try to get everything done before my assistant arrives – usually just before 8! Impossible? No. Practical and peace-inducing? Not so much. Since I started working out, I’m up at 4:45, exercising by 5:00-ish, and ready for the day (including a devotion!) by 7:30. It’s wonderful. The work-out gives me the time to reflect, plan, pray and peace out before the day begins. It’s also often the place where I choose my Three Important Tasks (don’t use the acronym ;)) for the day and get mentally ready for the challenges ahead.
The verdict so far? Excellent.