Life can be stressful even on a good day, but for some of us, those stress levels ramp up during this time of year. The days are getting shorter, and our to do lists around the holidays only ever seem to grow longer. At times, it can feel like stress management can be impossible. This is where routines and boundaries can become so invaluable.
Set a Routine
Routines can be useful for managing stress levels because, put simply, they help us know what to expect next. When you do the same things, around the same time every day, your brain does not have to work so hard when it comes to anticipating the next sequence of events. This frees up cognitive power for other things – like work, daily chores, or the important but ever neglected process of self-care. It can also be helpful to structure your day because it can help to maximize productivity in other ways. If you know that certain times are dedicated purely to work, leisure, etc., then you may be able to put more into those tasks than you might have otherwise.
Likewise, good boundary setting practices can be vital to managing stress. Far too many of us have horrible problems with saying “no”, after all, it’s considered good manners and friendly to try to help everyone! But unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day, and if you dedicate all of them to others, you won’t have any left for yourself and the tasks that you need to accomplish. Learning to strategically say no ensures that you don’t experience burnout or become overwhelmed. If you have too much on your plate, or even if you feel anxiety from the work you have for other reasons, it is always okay to turn down additional requests from others.
Manage Your Emails
Email management can be a major source of stress, and often challenges us in maintaining both our routines and our boundaries. Many expect us to answer emails at all hours of the day or night, which can easily turn into feelings of dread or aversion. One way to combat this is to set a firm routine for answering emails, and a firm boundary on when and under what circumstances you will do so. A major strategy that people often use for this is the automated responder – any emails received after a certain time of day will receive an automated response indicating to the recipient that the message has been received, and when a reply can be expected. Mailstrom includes just such a service in their premium email management package. Check us out today!