Stress less


How many people want to get older fast? What, no one ?! 

Well, did you know that you accelerate your aging process when you regularly experience stress or anxiety? Seriously, if you are too tired or too broken, note the seven strategies here to help you stress a little less:

Related: 11 Strategies for Managing Stress 

1. Give up the daily guilt.   

Let's get some perspective. Too many of us waste time feeling guilty that our lives are out of balance, but you will never feel balanced as long as you have goals and dreams. Why? There is always too much to do, to learn, to accomplish. If you are like me and have a passion for your work, it is easy to lose yourself in your tasks and projects because they give you joy. At some point, however, I have to deliberately quit my job to spend time with friends and family (minus my phone). Stop believing that you need to "touch" everything every day and look at how "balanced" your life is over a period of time, not a specific day of the week. Take this one step further and realize that it's about being balanced over your lifetime. It all evens out.

2. Realize that good is good enough. 

Any other recovering perfectionists out there? Stop wasting time creating the "perfect" proposal, letter or marketing brochure, look for the perfect gift for your nephew, the best quilt for your bedroom or the extremely clean house. Stop at 80 percent and move on to the next task. Otherwise, hours of your life are wasted and no one notices the difference except you. Get over yourself and take a step closer to acceptance. 

3. Snooze or lose. 

Yes, I can hear you already stressing puppies: "I will sleep when I'm dead." But the point is, you will die sooner as a result. Fatigue is not a badge of honor. Without sleep, you are useless to yourself and your surroundings. Stopping an hour later to complete a task or watching Grey's Anatomy costs you more than your health. It reduces irritability, being rested prevents the body from getting various diseases, reduces making mistakes and even reduces weight gain. A Harvard Business Review study of 975 global executives found that 45 percent of high-income executives are too tired to even talk to their spouse or partner after work. This is your alarm clock to get your ZZZs. 

4. Reduce your driving time. 

When choosing a new doctor, dentist, hairdresser, anything, find one as close to home as possible. Bonus: with such expensive fuel, think about the savings! The same applies when you find activities for all family members - stay locally. Sure, the perfect preschool, football club or gym can be worth a longer commute, but add up all the driving time in advance and ask if it's really worth it before you decide on rush hour and early alarm clocks. Still determined? Set up carpooling and realize that you do not have to be at every activity. Sure, it's fun to participate, but your child will not turn into a serial killer if you miss any games or performances.

5. Say no to others so you can say yes to yourself. 

It is not selfish to say no to others when the intention is to clear some space to say yes to you. Life goes on even if you are not involved in every activity, party or event. Look at it this way: Being missed makes you more interesting and appreciated once you show up. 

6. Power off. 

The fastest way to get peace of mind is to turn off your phone, TV and computer and enjoy the lack of distractions. Some people say that TV relaxes, but I think it's more of a habit than a way to reduce stress. TV only stuns you, and when the program is over, your stress remains. Same thing with the computer. Sure, it's good to get in touch with old friends on Facebook, but do you really need to know what someone ate for dinner? Instead of taking the unopened book from your shelf, call a good friend or have a cup of your favorite drink and reflect on your day. 

7. Embrace the mess. 

My old mantra was: There is a place for everything and everything belongs in its place. When I was single, the TV remote stopped in the same place, my pillows were strategically placed and the countertops were empty on the counter. Now that I share my life with a family, it's the opposite. My new mantra: A clean house does not define you; it limits you. Even with help twice a month, my house is usually messy ... a big difference and one I learn to live with if I want a life outside of cleaning. Embrace the mess. It is impossible to feel stressed and be grateful at the same time. When you are overwhelmed, simply take a deep breath and be grateful for what you have actually accomplished - it works every single time.