My Year By Design

The journey to living by design.

On Reducing Stress

I once saw a fellow teacher write on a Post-It “Reduce stress by giving less of a fuck.” It’s actually not bad advice. You can word it any way you like, but we should all work to reduce our stress in some way. A big part of it for me is not caring about the petty, little parts of life. When I start to feel stressed, I have begun to ask myself, “Will this matter to me in one year; in five years? Will it even matter tomorrow?” If not, it’s time to let it go.

While reading the blog Her 30s, I came across this post On Reducing Stress. I was struck by how much this blogger’s stress reduction list echoed my own.

Conscious ways to reduce stress

  1. Stop multitasking and focus on one activity at a time. I am getting better at this.I’ve never been very good at multitasking to begin with so this was fairly easy to release.
  2. Stop carrying the phone around with me in my hand. I check the time, my email, my calendar and lists too much. I have dedicated no phone time. When I’m teaching, exercising and in bed, my phone is somewhere else. I also regularly turn off my phone when I need some me time to read, take a bath or just space out.
  3. Limit the amount of driving I do. I drive stick and even though it is fun, hills and LA traffic still stresses me out. I drive only as much as I need to and when I do I listen to happy music, comedy programs or audio books. The news is out except for the traffic report. I just find it too depressing.
  4. Meditate, stretch or do yoga in the morning so that I start my day off slowly and in a focused manner. I do 15 minutes of yoga each morning before I do anything else, (except for drinking water.) It keeps me centered and reminds me to breath deeply for the rest of the day.
  5. Do what I do to the best of my ability and stop trying to control the outcome. I work on this one every day. When I get there, I’ll let you know how I did it.

I’m going to add to this list to make fewer lists. Sometimes it’s nicer to just be without having to check things off on some list, be it written or floating around in my brain. So, what’s on your list? Or what are you taking off your list?


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