Minimizing Stress During a Difficult Time Is Within Your Control

We’ve all had times in our lives when we’ve been stressed out, and I know that is only harder to combat when we’re going through a difficult period in our lives. Recently I’ve been dealing with some health issues, which have taken years to get answers. These issues along with a very busy time at work and planning a conference has resulted in a not-so-calm time in my life. Even when some of the things keeping me busy were good things it was still hard to remain centered and not get stressed out. I knew that allowing the stress to take over my life would only make things more difficult to deal with and I may be missing out on the good things that were going on. Over the years, I’ve found some ways that allow me to maintain control of my stress levels and not give in to the craziness.

Take Time for Yourself

Owning a business can keep you VERY busy. While it’s busy in a good way because I love what I do and the people I work with, there are days that I’m away gone from home for over 12 hours. As someone who is an introvert at heart, I know that if I don’t take time out of my busy days for myself, I will quickly burn out. For me this means going for a run, attending a yoga class, or even just taking the chance to sit down and read something I want to for a half hour. Sometimes it can be difficult to turn off the noises around me and allow myself to have that time to myself, but I know that I’m a happier and more productive person when I take some time to care for myself.

Spend Time with People You Care About

While the time for myself is important, I also know that spending time with those people in my life that I care about can revitalize me. It helps me keep my stress levels down just as much as the times I spend by myself. I currently live with my best friend and my 2.5-year-old niece. While sleep has indeed decreased since moving in, my stress levels have also decreased. When I’m feeling stressed out, I know that allowing myself to play with her, dance around the living room and sing whatever song she wants always puts a smile on my face. You just can’t be stressed out when a cute curly haired girl is telling you “Auntie! Auntie! Jump up and down!” and laughs when you do.

Learn to Say No

I will admit I have a hard time saying no to people. My boyfriend recently asked me if I could stop taking on so many things and if I could think about saying no sometimes. Although I’ve always known that I have a hard time saying no I didn’t always think about how it affects not only my life but those around me. I’ve been working on thinking about whether I want to do something and if it’s not important to me or I don’t feel excited about it then I will politely and honestly decline. While I’m not perfect at it, I know that if I say no to the things that I don’t really want to do it allows me more time in my life to do the things I want to do and less time to feel stressed out about not having enough time.

Be Grateful

I recently learned that you can’t be stressed out and grateful at the same time. In his book, What Happy People Know, Dan Baker argues that you can’t be in a state of appreciation and state of fear or anxiety at the same time. When I’m feeling stressed out, I will try and stop myself and remind myself of what I have to be grateful for and bring my anxiety levels down. While sometimes this can be difficult when so much is going on, I know that no matter how tough things feel I always have so much to be grateful about.


Contact West Coast Family Mediation about mediation or a referral to another professional.

by: Amanda Singer

Amanda Singer with west coast family mediation center

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