In our hectic lives we try to do everything, have everything and be everything. We want to be good at our jobs, be the perfect partner, and give our children everything we didn’t have. If you’re a baby boomer there’s the additional worry of caring for aged parents. In this pursuit of taking care of everything and everyone, managing stress can be increasingly difficult.
I found a new article on CNN,”Stress less: Keys to a calmer existence“, had some good advice on how to simplify your routine, your possessions and how you think about things. Some of the suggestions that were helpful and easy to implement included:
- Eliminate time wasters.
- Don’t say, “yes” to every request.
- Break big tasks into the small steps.
- Do what energizes you, and avoid what depletes you.
- Schedule a small amount of time to routinely de-cluttering every week.
- Keep the treasures and toss the stuff you don’t really love.
- Start by doing what you know how to do and feel satisfaction in doing that.
- When struggling with a problem, go do something you enjoy, then come back to it.
- Don’t strive for perfection.
When you simplify your life you have less to worry about and less to maintain so you can focus on what’s important. According to Geralin Thomas, a professional organizer, “Once you shape your environment, then you’re ready to shape up yourself.” But what if these simple suggestions just aren’t enough? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a powerful tool to help you control how you react to stress. It works to identify the sources of stress, restructure priorities, change your response to stress, and find methods for managing and reducing stress. Over time, it becomes your new and automatic way of thinking! If you live near Portland OR/Vancouver, WA and want to work with a mental health care professional that specializes in CBT, contact my office to make an appointment.
Read about eight specific methods to reducing stress on my website – Managing Stress.