Stress comes at you from all different angles. It can start in your home life, the moment you wake up and extend to the commute, the workplace, and even the gym at night if it is packed. You have to be on guard and have a preventive routine to fall back on. Micro habits can help you to reduce daily stress, which adds up and then can possibly cause burn out. Once you hit the burnout stage, it is difficult to function properly and, in many cases, means lost time from work. Take a look at these micro habits now.
1. If you are in the habit of checking your cellphone before you roll out of bed or the minute you are at the breakfast table, put a stop to it now. This means not checking emails which may have a negative impact on your morning. More importantly, it means not checking social media and, of course, commenting on posts that annoy you. It may take getting used to, but you should eliminate most or all the social media apps on your phone for peace of mind and less stress. Becoming dependent on your cellphone sucks the joy out of your life.
2. You should be journaling every day. A micro habit to install in your mind right now is to grab your journal before bedtime and write down the most positive memory you have from that day. It could be something like, "Great compliment on my work from the team leader. They see what I am doing and appreciate me. I appreciate me."
3. Have a "go-to" song to play as soon as you feel the need for a relaxing moment. This song should speak to you in such a way that you feel an instant calming sensation from your head right down to your toes. Need some help? Try Beethoven-Moonlight Sonata-15 minute version or Elton John-Candle in the Wind. Another great song is Cat Stevens-Moon Shadow. There are probably songs in your head that you listen to frequently and do not even realize it. Sit down and write out a list of ten songs that you find relaxing, and then pick one to be your "go-to song."
4. Keeping negativity at bay takes work. You need to build the micro habit of eliminating negative thoughts about your significant other. Stop thinking negative statements such as:
- Do they love me?
- Why didn’t they take the garbage out again?
- Why in the world do they take so long to get ready?
These types of thoughts do not serve you. It is not possible for you to fully understand the how and why of what other people do. Think of positive things to say about the other person, and they will feel the wave of positive thinking that radiates from you.
5. In turn, you need to stop negative thinking about yourself. Just tell yourself STOP every time you think a negative thought such as, “this is too hard, I can’t do this and never will be able to.” Zig Ziglar called this negative talk "stinky thinking." Take out the trash and keep out it out of your head.
6. Pause and take a mental break throughout the day. Running a hectic pace 8 to 12 hours a day causes stress and ultimately burnout. Take a pause when needed, and breath deep. While breathing, pull up a positive image of your day and smile. It doesn't have to be work-related; it could be an image of a bird, insect, or interesting clouds that you saw today.
7. You need a shot of sunshine even in the winter. Winter blahs are a real thing for some people, depending on where they live. If you are in a country that has harsh winters, you need to find the days where the sunlight comes out. If you are home and it is bitterly cold, but the sun is shining, grab a chair and sit in front of the big window and feel the warmth. No matter where you live, getting out and in the sunlight for a few minutes will help to destress you.
8. Many people have a complete workout plan and hit the gym on a regular basis. In this hectic world, we tend to forget about simplicity. A pure, simple movement like a quick walk around the block will do wonders for your stress and overall mental health. Get out before you go to work and take in the sights while swinging your arms and while breathing deep and letting the sun hit your face.
9. Shut off the notifications on your cellphone. Many people leave alerts on social media notifications, Gmail alerts to new messages, and even when they make a sale.
Those who work at home and get a notification of a new sale tend think they are pumping themselves up, but the constant alerts or lack of alerts can cause stress. Imagine trying to work, and in the back of your mind, you start thinking that you haven't had a sales alert for at least an hour.
You would start to stress that you were not going to make your daily sales quota. With social media notifications, you do not need to be alerted every time someone comments on a post. Check all those items at a more appropriate time.
This post is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered therapy.
This blog is only for informational and educational purposes and should not be considered therapy or any form of treatment. We are not able to respond to specific questions or comments about personal situations, appropriate diagnosis or treatment, or otherwise provide any clinical opinions. If you think you need immediate assistance, call your local doctor/psychologist or psychiatrist or the SADAG Mental Health Line on 011 234 4837. If necessary, please phone the Suicide Crisis Line on 0800 567 567 or sms 31393.