This week I wanted to talk with you about managing unnecessary stress and how it is different from the normal stresses that come with everyday life.

There is no doubt that in these unprecedented times we all have so much to deal with. Now more than ever it is important to give yourself permission to be released from the external noise and focus as often as possible on self-care.

So what is unnecessary stress?
Simply defined, unnecessary stress is the stress that is brought into your life that is not yours to carry and certainly not yours to solve. People, systems, external entities, and unhealthy habits that we form within ourselves can all cause unnecessary stress.

These unnecessary stresses only serve to add to the already difficult task of navigating through our day-to-day lives.

Life, in normal circumstances, is stressful enough. It takes a lot of energy to juggle so many things at once, work, relationships, finances and so on and it can leave us feeling anxious and exhausted. Just like we prioritise certain aspects of our lives, so is the need for us to prioritise which stresses we can afford to take on physically and emotionally. Taking on too much will almost certainly leave you frayed and burnt out.

Learn to identify external stresses, such as the news, social media, friends and family or colleagues. You don’t have to take on everyone’s problems. Sure you can listen, offer advice or even help others but don’t live there. At least not without taking time to tend to your own wellbeing.

It is important to set some boundaries with respect to things that may disrupt your life so you can practice self-care. Give yourself permission to say “no” to those things that are going to drain you of your precious energy, time and resources and build healthy practices to make sure you are not overstretching yourself.

  • Turn the television off during meals.
  • Meet with friends or family members when a time is mutually suitable.
  • Allocate certain times to engage with social media, then disengage after.
  • Wake up a little earlier each morning to ensure you don’t have to rush or risk being late.
  • Declutter your home or office.
  • Try to stop rehashing stressful situations or focusing on worst-case scenarios.
  • Allocate some “me-time” every day to reflect, exercise, paint, get out in the garden or whatever it is that makes your heart sing.
  • Eat healthy foods and get some exercise every day.

If you are feeling burnt out, stressed, or anxious, I would encourage you to take a moment this week to look at your life and see where unnecessary stress has crept in, and know that you can always set boundaries in place and show it the door.

How will you begin to limit unnecessary stress in your life?

Take care of yourself.

Author: Pete Welsh