Time, Stress Management and Building Resilience to Stress

This article has been modified and was written by Elizabeth Scott and discusses the connection between stress management through building resilience and time. So often we feel stressed when we don’t have sufficient time to do our tasks. Below are some key points that will help you build resilience to stress and overcome the pressures you experience in managing your time.

It’s OK To Say No: Many people end up overscheduling themselves because they feel uncomfortable saying “no” when people ask things of them. This may be because they don’t want to admit to themselves that they can’t “do it all”, or perhaps because they don’t want to disappoint others. Unfortunately, they ultimately disappoint themselves by not having enough time to do what’s important to them. Does this apply to you? If so, learning to say no might be a good building resilience to stress strategy. Be Clear On Your Priorities: Others become overscheduled because they add activities to their schedules for the wrong reasons, and end up spending their days doing things that don’t reflect their values and priorities. Then they find themselves struggling to fit in what’s important to them. Necessities like adequate sleep and other healthy habits fall by the wayside. Is this you?

To find out, make a list of what’s most important to you. List things like family, friends and career. Then look at how you spend your days. See how much time goes to these things. Is it a good match, or are you spending an inordinate amount of time doing things that aren’t as important to you? Remember it’s never too late to make changes to improve your resilience to stress!

Map It Out: A common stress management trap many people fall into is not knowing where their time goes, or they overestimate the amount of time they have available and underestimate the amount of time each activity takes to complete, and become overcommitted. How many times have you found yourself adding new activities to your schedule when you don’t really know how you’ll find the time to do them? If you remember several such instances, you may need to keep a careful schedule, writing down everything you do. Don’t agree to new activities until you’ve found a way to pencil them in, overestimating the amount of time you think it will take to complete them.

Manage Money Wisely: It’s become increasingly common for people to work more than they’d like because finances demand it. Many people are working longer hours and even more than one job. Do you find that you’re working hard to pay the bills, and when you’re not working, you’re still worrying about money? Do you know where your money goes? To get out from under debt and financial woes, you need a plan that involves spending less, saving, paying off debt, and possibly earning more (not by working more but by getting paid what you’re worth). In doing so you not only will feel more relief and in control but will also take a crucial step in improving your stress management.

Stay Organized: Stress management often gets derailed when we are disorganised. In addition to keeping an organized schedule, as mentioned above, it’s important to maintain an organised home. Most people don’t realize how much time and money are sucked up (not to mention stress created) by living in an environment where things are difficult to find and relaxation is a challenge. Staying organised can help you to stop the drain on your time that a messy home can create.

To Thine Own Self Be True: Knowing yourself well can also help you to avoid getting overwhelmed. How? For one thing, by knowing your limitations, you avoid taking on too much. For example, if you know you’re not the best manager of people, you can avoid putting yourself in a position where you’ll be asked to do management-type tasks, saving yourself stress and the extra time and energy it would take to learn to do this better. Also, if you constantly put yourself in a position of taking on more than you can handle, take an honest look inward to help you figure out what’s behind this. That way, you can stop.

It is important on your journey to improve your stress management that you commit to putting the newly acquired techniques into action. Choose 2 stress management techniques from those listed above and make them a habit by doing them everyday for 21 days. After this time period it will be integrated into your activities and will help to further improve your wellbeing and feelings of stress.

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