Are you Stressed? Ways to Reduce it!

Today, I want to talk about something that has definitely affected my life and I’m sure it has affected yours. It’s been something that has been on my heart for the past couple of months and I thought it would be really important to talk about today: STRESS. I don’t know if it’s just me but I am just realizing how much stress affects me as a person and even affects my health. The more I’m reading about stress, the more I see how important it is to kind of deal with it and work on ways to reduce it. I want you to think about it: Are you stressed?

For me, I didn’t even realize I was so stressed because I think I tend to down play things and I just think I have a great life, which I do, I’m so happy in my everyday things. Sometimes it can get overwhelming as an entrepreneur, a blogger, running this podcast, it made me think about ways to handle, manage and reduce my stress levels.

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If you’ve been listening or following my blog you know, I have 2 girls; I have a 3-year-old and I have a 10-month-old. Being a mom is stressful in itself whether you are a stay-at-home mom or whether you are a working mom or whether you’re a dad, being a parent is stressful and I really didn’t even realize how stressed I was until it started coming out in different ways.

I want you to think about: Why are you stressed?

Does it go back to you taking on too many things? We’ve been talking about the Power of saying No and figuring out your priorities on some of the other Fast Friday episodes, so it’s all kind of in alignment. Are you saying no to enough things? And do you have your priorities figured out? When we take on too many things it leads to a lot of stress and stress has some serious ramifications. Stress can cause headaches, stomach aches to major illnesses. It ages you, it can cause insomnia, it can increase blood pressure and more. I encourage you to figure out what is causing you stress and how to reduce it.

One thing that causes you stress is multi-tasking. I used to take pride in the fact I am serial multi-tasker until a few months ago I didn’t realize how bad it was to actually multi-task. Multi-tasking alone causes stress because your brain is constantly scanning when you’re multi-tasking. If you have your phone out and you have a million tabs open on your computer and you have your iPad and you have so many things that you’re doing while you’re working it’s just TOO MUCH. Every time something pops up, your brain actually has to make a decision to engage or not engage even if you don’t pick up your phone your brain still has to say, “No, I’m not going to pick up my phone.” I want you to think of multi-tasking and how often you engage in it. You actually can’t do more than one thing at a time. Your brain toggles back and forth between the two activities you are doing.

When you’re making decisions you are actually using energy. If you have Facebook notifications up, you have that chime on your phone going off or a vibration, your brain is actually using energy overtime you hear that. What I found really interesting is that it requires the same amount of energy to make a big decision or a small decision. So just keep that in mind if you are multi-tasking and you’re doing a few things at one time. When I’m playing with my kids and have my phone out I’ve heard my 3-year-old say to me, “Put down your phone.” It’s always a big reminder that I shouldn’t be doing more than one thing at once and that’s just a small example. We’ve all been guilty of the notifications and having all the tabs open but I really encourage you to try to stop multi-tasking.

When you get to the end of the day and you’re super exhausted,  tired and cranky; think back over the day, have you done too much? Did you have to make too many decisions that require a lot of energy? Are you finding it hard to focus? What should you do?

Stop being distracted. Do less. Say, “No more.” Everything I say I feel goes back to the Power of No. What can you say no to? And what can you prioritize over other things? When you do too much your cortisol level increases and causes stress

Reduce stress

What can you do? 

Get focused. The more focused you are, the less stress you will have.

THINK: When do you feel most focused?

For me, I know that this is a certain time of day. Think about it: when is your time of the day where you know your brain is functioning well, you feel rested and you feel like you can do things that require a lot of energy?  Those are the morning hours for me, from 7-11 am is my primetime. When it comes to after 4 my brain is not as focused so I can do things that don’t require as much effort like answer e-mails or just schedule some tweets on Twitter and things like that. I do the bulk of my major work in the morning because I know I can stay focused and I can work best.

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What else can you do? 

Try out a power hour. I’m a huge fan of this. Most people can’t work for more than 45-50 minutes or maybe an hour at a time before they really start to get distracted. Test it out, get to know yourself. What hours of the day are best for you to work? How long can you work before getting super distracted? Then, what I want you to do is work for 45-50 minutes or max an hour and then take a 15 minute break. When I say break I don’t mean sit there and browse the internet. Get up, go for a walk, go outside, take a 20-minute power nap, have a snack, meditate, daydream, do one of those things because those things can restore your energy and allow you to do another power hour. Now, I know not all of us have the luxury of being able to dictate our day like this but if you are an entrepreneur or you’re a blogger or you have a side hustle then you probably do have some flexibility in your day so I encourage you to take advantage of this.

Besides the work, what can you do to reduce stress? 

I can’t express how important it is. I have those days where I literally feel like I can’t breathe. It’s like you forget how to breathe when you’re super stressed. Something I started concentrating on just breathing. I know it sounds so silly and so little but sometimes when I’m super stressed I find I take way more shallow breaths and I’m not actually breathing deep.

If you like this post, the you’ll find my cheatsheet incredibly valuable. Download my CHEAT SHEET: Reduce Stress + Increase Your Focus Here!)

Ways to reduce stress and get focused!

  • Go outside. For me going outside, even if I don’t have time to go for a walk, sitting on my porch for 5 minutes and just feeling the sunshine makes a world of a difference of my mood.
  • Talk to a spouse or a friend.
  • Do something for yourself. Go to a coffee shop.
  • Practice breathing.
  • Listen to some good music, what is that song where that band that just puts you in instant good mood.
  • Write.
  • Practice gratitude. Start a gratitude journal or a bullet journal like Jessica from How Sweet It Is on the second episode talked about. You keep a bullet journal then you can just write down and writing is so cathartic, I highly recommend it.
  • Another thing that I love doing is turning on my pink salt lamp. It’s kind of hippy-ish but it really works on my mood and it’s just so pretty looking I think just looking at it makes me feel better but it has a lot of other benefits.

I want you to think about what causes you stress? How can you reduce it? How can you stop multi-tasking? And how can you really change your life to make sure you are living a less stressed life? I don’t honestly think it’s possible to live a stress-free life although I think it’s something to definitely work towards. Really, really figure out what you can do to stop multi-tasking, get focused and reduce your stress. I put together a little cheat sheet for you.   I give you some more ways to reduce stress and get focused. I will be continuing to talk about focus next week on another Fast Friday podcast episode so stay tuned for more tips on how to stay focused.

I want to know what you think. Are you stressed? Have you listened to the other podcast episodes: The power of ‘No’ and the Priorities episode from last week. Definitely reach out to me and tweet me or email me. I love hearing from those of you who’ve emailed me and commented that you downloaded the cheat sheet and you’re trying to make positive changes. It truly, truly makes my day.

If you like this post, the you’ll find my cheatsheet incredibly valuable. Download my CHEAT SHEET: Reduce Stress + Increase Your Focus Here!)

Ways to reduce stress and get focused!

Listen to the Fast Friday Episode: Are You Stressed? here on iTunes!

Download: CHEAT SHEET: Ways to Reduce Stress and Get Focused! 

Find me on social media and let me know what you think!


About Nicole

I’m on a mission to help as many women as possible step into their power so they can have a positive ripple effect on the world.

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