October 16, 2017

Micro-Managing Stress is Good & Here's How to Do It

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted in three weeks (shoutout to you if ya did). This is highly unusual for me. Where have I been? I’ve been trying to decompress. I recently met with a gastroenterologist after experiencing prolonged stomach pain and abdominal discomfort. Thankfully, my test results came back normal, but even now, I don’t feel 100% normal.

http://www.alexakoch.com/2017/10/micro-managing-stress-is-good-heres-how.html

Apparently, stress can be a trigger for certain gastrointestinal issues. Stress takes a physical toll on your health, and if anyone says differently... they’re wrong. I thought I was managing my stress, but I guess I wasn’t doing as good as job as I need to be doing. So, I’m doing things differently. 

Part of my plan is more personal and not something I’m going to share here, but the other part is a more generalized, micro-approach (micro-managing is good in this case) to stress-fighting that you can easily incorporate into your daily life. 

+ Make daily to-dos and break them down even further. 

I’m a big fan of lists, including daily to-dos, but I’ve been breaking these down even more. I put everything I need to do in a day, big or small, on a sticky on my computer. The big thing here is to let things roll over. It’s okay if you don’t cross off all the low-priority stuff on your list. Just copy and paste it onto tomorrow’s sticky and move on. 

+ Eliminate the stress of everyday decisions. 

I read this tip in the book we’re using in my media management class and thought I would try it out. Everyday decisions are simple decisions that you make— you guessed it— every day: what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to eat, when you’re going to fill up the gas tank, etc. I’ve always hated choosing my outfit the night before and deciding what I want to eat for breakfast the next morning when I ate dinner just hours ago, but I decided that giving it a go would not hurt anything.

+ Evaluate the root of your stress.

For me, it's often things that seem important, but are really unimportant in the scope of things, that are the biggest stressors. How am I going to fit this into my schedule? What if this person doesn't do what they say they will? What if I don't have enough time to do x? And then it fits into my schedule, the person pulls through, I get done what I have to... and realize it didn't matter enough that I should have let myself be so consumed by it. 

+ Give yourself a health day once a week.

The Saturday before this past Saturday, I didn’t leave my apartment. I didn’t even change out of my pajamas. Instead, I made some pancakes, poured some coffee, tuned into Twilight Weekend on Freeform (judge me), and spent a slow day cleaning my apartment, meal prepping, and relaxing. I knew I needed a day to just be, with my crazy schedule and the pressure of a full-time job search and all the other things, but I didn’t realize how much I needed it until I was actually decompressing. 

I have noticed my stress level going down (I was at at point where I would wake up in the middle of the night thinking about something...) since I've made these little changes. And it’s helped. It’s the little things that add up to make the biggest difference, right?

How do you manage stress?

2 comments

  1. I can totally relate to this post, but I've also learned to not let it consume me. Journaling has really helped me! Maybe you could give it a try :)

    P.S. I also binged the twilight movies...

    Natalia V | www.nataliav.com

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    1. I do journal! I actually wrote a whole post on why you should journal haha. It helps me manage my "in the moment" stress but not my "bigger picture" stress, if that makes sense.

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