Stress affects everyone in different ways and for different reasons. With the rise of working from home at the moment, you are likely spending much more time on your own than ever before, and so it’s important to find ways of managing your own stress levels to be effective.
Here is one strategy you can try today…
Get a pen and paper and write a list of everything that you are thinking about that is causing you stress. Remember no one is ever going to read this list except you. So put everything on it you can possibly think of; all the big things, all the small things, work life, home life, imaginary what if’s, things you haven’t done, things that other people have done, just put it all down if it’s on your mind and causing stress.
Now it’s down on paper it’s out of your head, this in itself is an excellent stress management practice. Visualise all of those things you’ve written down in front of you as coming out of your head and onto the paper. They belong to the paper now, not your mind.
Rank each thing on the paper with a number 1, 2, or 3 based on this.
- Is there a specific action I could take to change this thing? If yes, put 1. You might not want to take that action but if in the realms of possibility you could then put 1 please.
- E.g. I have 300 unread emails in my inbox that is stressing me out.
- E.g. It’s stressing me out that I haven’t done exercise in 4 weeks.
- I can’t change this thing necessarily but I could do things that influence it? If so then put 2 next to this.
- E.g. My team are not working hard enough at the moment.
- Nothing I can do will change this thing. That’s a 3.
- E.g. Covid19 is f*cking everything up!!
Now your paper has a long list of things with various numbers next to it. Remember these still belong to your paper.
Anything with a 3 next to it, that stays there on the paper. You must accept these things exist. Visualise them on the paper and staying on the paper.
Anything with a 2 can stay for now as well. Anything with a 1, that’s welcome to come back into your mind.
When you find yourself thinking about something from your list remember it should only be in your head anyway if it was a number 1. You scored it 1 because you have a possibility of changing that thing. So focus your energy now on how and when you’re going to action that change. What is the change you can make? Break it down into sizeable actions that take no more than 20-30 minutes. When are you going to action the first change?
This practice works, you might need to repeat and remind yourself of it regularly, but try it today.
In my coaching programmes I have a more in depth practice of this which will help you to prioritise your tasks and manage your stress.
If you want to know more, please book in a consultation or just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org