If you are like most people you are very busy all year, so adding the extra tasks that you think you need to achieve before Christmas makes you extremely busy. You may feel overwhelmed, and more and more stressed as Christmas gets closer. Over the years, I have developed 6 ways to manage my time and stress levels which you may want to consider.
Managing Your Stress Levels
Did you know that your perception of stress determines how your body reacts to stress. There are two different types of stress eustress (good stress) and distress . Eustress is a stress that can be brought on when faced with a fun challenge. Eustress helps us to stay motivated, work towards goals and feel good about life. Distress can make you feel overwhelmed because your resources (physically, mentally, emotionally) are inadequate to meet the demands you are facing.
I have found that choosing the things that I love to do, definitely reduces my stress levels.
I am a big believer in practicing what I preach, so I can't prioritise the way that is generally advertised under the mindfulness and yoga umbrella which says to prioritise quiet time and me time first. I think I have been in the corporate world for too long to ignore the fact, that generally work is your biggest priority. I also understand that there will never be a balance between the time I invest in work, my family and time for me (equal amounts of hours spent) - there are simply not enough hours in a day. So how do you get around that?
Plan your time by adding not only your work tasks but also your home tasks to your scheduler. If you don't have one, now is the best time to start. Plan
Tasks at home or for your home life like shopping, cooking, cleaning,
Sleep ( lack of sleep is one of the biggest stressors)
Time for yourself ( exercise, meditation, relaxation) some days it can only be a few minutes, but they are important to manage your physical and mental health.
As Philippe Kruchten said:" If it is not written down , it does not exist."
Be flexible!!! Every day things happen that weren't planed: You may have a late meeting at work, sick children, you may feel unwell yourself…. Be kind to yourself. You won't get everything done every day. If it is written down reschedule. - The other thing I do is compare the time I have planned to how long it actually takes me to do a task. Be honest to yourself, is it because you were side tracked? Otherwise adjust the time in future.
Prioritise: Add the absolutely necessary tasks first (work, family and friends, sleep, time for yourself) then evaluate the tasks you choose to do and those that you only do because you think it is expected from you. We only have 1440 minutes in a 24 hour day. If we add tasks something has to give.
Learn to say NO to unreasonable expectations and to tasks that can be deferred to a later date.
Never ever skip 'Me Time' regardless how short it is, it will help you to manage your physical and mental health.
My suggestions for 'Me Time'
Go for a walk or exercise whenever you can fit it in.
Sit quietly and enjoy a cup of tea/hot chocolate/coffee.
Read a book.
Enjoy a massage.
Be present in whatever you do.