Proven Stress Reducers
1. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.
2. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.
3. Don’t rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc. (“The palest ink is better than the most retentive memory.”-Old Chinese Proverb)
4. Doing nothing which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.
5. Make duplicates of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in the garden and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring.
6. Practice preventive maintenance. your car, appliances, home and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart “at the worst possible moment.”
7. Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.
8. Procrastination is stressful Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.
9. Plan ahead. Don’t let the gas tank get below one-quarter full. Keep a well-stocked emergency shelf of home staples. Don’t wait until you’re down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more, etc.
10. Don’t put up with something that doesn’t work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers, whatever are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.
11. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departures.
13. Always set up contingency plans, “just in case.” (“If for some reason either of us is delayed, here’s what we’ll do..” Or, “If we get split up in the shopping center, here’s where we’ll meet.”)
14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn’t get mowed this weekend.
14. Say “No!.” Saying “no” to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don’t have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and be alone.
15. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect. (The possibility of there being a terrible emergency in the next hour or so is almost nil). Or use an answering machine.
16. Simplify, simplify, simplify…
17. Get enough sleep. If necessary, use an alarm clock to remind you to go to bed.
18. Create order out of chaos. Organize your home and workspace so that you always know exactly where things are. Put things away where they belong and you won’t have to go through the stress of losing things.
19. Writing your thoughts and feelings down (in a journal, or a paper to be thrown away) can help you clarify things and can give you a renewed perspective.