Last week I opened up about stress. I talked about how I believe the majority of my stress is derivative from the feeling of being out of control. Recently, in an attempt to pin point ways to prevent my stress, I came up with a list. In making this list, I thought of the things that make me feel like I have things under control, that I’m keeping everything together. I thought of the tasks that when complete, I felt most organized and ready to face the day. Below is my list. Obviously, this is tailored to me but take from it what you think would be helpful. There are a lot of stress relievers out there, I have those too. But wouldn’t it be so much better if it was just prevented to begin with? Here’s my attempt to do that in 10 steps:
1 | Take Scout for his daily walk
I take Scout for at least half an hour in the day. I try to make this in the morning in case I’m kept late at work. That way, I already know he’s been taken care of. I do however try to take him for a 30 minute walk in the morning and a 30 minute walk at night.
2 | Eat healthy and take my vitamins
My two biggest tips for eating healthy are meal prep and frozen fruits and vegetables. I have a sometimes demanding work schedule. If I have to think about breakfast, lunch, and dinner on top of everything else, chances are I’m going to pick the fast, unhealthy option. But if I already have a couple of meals ready to go, I don’t have to think about it. It’s still fast, easy, but also healthy. Frozen fruits and vegetables have been a game changer. Since my schedule fluctuates, sometimes I’ll buy fresh fruits and veggies only to have them go bad. Frozen is the way to go for me. As far as my vitamins go, I fill up a 7 day AM/PM pill case and set an alarm on my phone to take them. Easy peasy. Again, don’t have to think about it, just have to execute.
3 | Have a clean home
There are a lot of tips I could give on this one. If you’d like a separate post, let me know! My top two recommendations on getting started to always having a clean home would be: 1. read The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up 2. Do a sweep of your home every night and put things away/do the dishes ect. Outward calm and inner peace are connected.
4 | Utilize a planner
I personally use an Erin Condren Life Planner. It has revolutionized my life. I am such an organization junkie that this was the perfect fix. Sit down each morning and look through the day. Update as you go. It’ll be a life saver. I also use my EC as a memory keeper. If you’d like a peek, tell me in the comments! If you would like an EC planner of your own, click here. If you use my referral link, you get $10 off your first order and I get $10 in return – pretty sweet deal!
5 | Read
I find that I get the most stressed out when I feel like I’m only doing things to keep up, to just barely hang in there. When I take a moment to read, I feel like I’m accomplishing something. Reading has always been a love of mine – there are lots of books on that “to read” list. To take a few minutes to chip away at a book on that list, I’m pursuing something outside of my job/family/friends/apartment/ect. This is just for me. (If you want to keep up with books I’m reading, connect with me here – I’d love that!)
6 | Exercise
I can only exercise in the morning. That’s just the truth of the matter. I feel too tired and unmotivated when I get home from work. But that actually is a great thing. The mornings when I get my butt out of bed early enough to actually do it, I feel so energized and great about myself the rest of the day.
7 | Have a clean car
Having a dirty car doesn’t necessarily stress me out but a clean car makes me feel like I have it all together. If the inside and the outside of the car are clean, I just feel better on my commutes. What tops it off is having a full tank of gas. For some reason, that makes me feel like I can do anything. It’s weird, I know.
8 | Make a budget and stick to it
When I know how much I have in the bank and what I can spend on what, I feel so much better, so much more in control. Being in control = not being stressed!
9 | Organized work bag/purse
Every Sunday I go through my work bag so it’s ready for the next morning. I take out receipts and old grocery lists. I make sure that my “everything” bag is refreshed. New protein bar, new pack of gum, whatever I may have used during the week.
10 | A night to myself
I am always on the go. With work, friends, Scout, and everything in between I need a night to myself. I usually do a facemask, sip tea, paint my nails, get into some comfy clothes and catch up on tv or read. Taking the time for me is essential.
Bonus | Look my best
It isn’t about looking perfect, 100% of the time but it is always putting your best foot forward. I see people come to work without having even brushed their hair. You don’t have to be all dolled up to look put together. I always have dry, brushed hair – no just out of the shower looks for me! And I make sure I’m wearing appropriate clothing for what I’m going to be doing. If I feel good about how I look and how comfortable I am in my clothes, it’s just one less thing to stress over.
That’s it! That’s my list on how I keep it together (and prevent stress!!) I’m sure for some people, these steps come so naturally to them but I have to make the time and space for them in my life each day to make all the cogs moving. // What about you? What are some ways you keep it together? Do these things come naturally or do you have to create time for them as well?