Stress Management



1. Get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.

2. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.

3. Don't rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc.

4. Do nothing that after being done, leads you to tell a lie.

5. Make duplicates of all keys. Bury a house key in a secret spot in the garden and carry a duplicate car key in your wallet, apart from your key ring.

6. Practice preventive maintenance. Your car, appliances, home and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart at the worst possible moment.

7. Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.

8. Procrastination is stressful. Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today; whatever you want to do today, do it now.

9. Plan ahead. Don't let the gas tank get below one–quarter full, keep a well–stocked emergency shelf of home staples, don't wait until you are down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more, etc.

10. Don't put up with something that doesn't work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers, etc. are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.

11. Allow 15 minutes of extra time to get to appointments. Plan to arrive at an airport one hour before domestic departure times.

12. Eliminate (or restrict) the amount of caffeine in your diet.

13. Always set up contingency plans, ”just in case.” (”If for some reason either of us is delayed, here's what we'll do...” Or, ”If we get split up in the shopping center, here's where we'll meet.”

14. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn't get mowed this weekend.

15. Count the good things that go right. For every one thing that goes wrong, there are probably 10 or 20 blessings!

16. Ask questions. Taking a few moments to repeat back directions, what someone expects of you, etc. can save hours.

17. Say ”NO!” Saying no to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don't have the time or energy for takes practice, self–respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday needs quiet time to relax and to be alone.

18. Unplug your phone. Want to take a long bath, meditate, sleep, or read without interruption? Drum up the courage to temporarily disconnect.

19. Turn ”needs” into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don't get too attached to preferences.

20. Simplify, simplify, simplify.