With stress waiting around every corner, it is just too easy to get caught up in it. You can lean on vices to cope, but do they really make you feel any better? They induce bad habits and potentially additional stress, further adding to the cycle that you were trying to escape in the first place.
As a species, we are averse to change; mainly due to the fear of failure. If you start with some small steps, a stumble might be easier to recover from and try again. Once you have conquered your small steps, you might be able to empower yourself to leap and one day, maybe even fly. Here are 7 easy ways that you can simplify your life, ease your stress, and allow yourself to simply breathe.
- Take time out for yourself
With obligations taking up so much time of your day, you convince yourself that they are for your good. Whether they are for education or career, it’s to benefit you in the end. A good education or career can help you get to where you want in life, but it isn’t your life. Even if you absolutely love your occupation or the direction your education is going to be taking you, everyone needs to step back and refresh. It doesn’t have to be a huge event.
You can set aside an hour every night to read before bed. You can grab your good pair of shoes and go to the gym before or after work or school. You can even play a video game.
- Cast out negativity
We all have had those people in our lives that interject themselves into our situations and felt the need to be “the voice of reason.” When all they are really doing is making themselves feel superior, by putting you down consistently. You convince yourself that they are well-meaning and that they probably feel the same, but it is not helping you. So, you need to take a stand and make a statement that you need them in your life, but you want to find your own solutions. Give them the opportunity to be there for you to vent your frustrations.
If that does not work, then you distance yourself. It may not seem easy and maybe even stressful at first, but you will find yourself being more confident in making your own decisions. After some time, they might even see that you were better at making your own decisions. You might even realize that that person was holding you back and you don’t miss them. No, it doesn’t sound pretty. Life isn’t always pretty. At the end of the day, it is your life to live. Who are you living it for?
- Revisit old interests
As you get older, you cast aside many things to make room for progressing toward your goals. Sacrifices are a part of life. When the pursuit of progress becomes overwhelming, maybe looking back isn’t so bad. Reconnecting with your old hobbies brings a feeling of nostalgia that potentially washes away the worries of your day. It can also remind you of the promises you made to yourself as a kid when you were still full of hope and aspirations. Maybe revisiting will reinvigorate those feelings and recharge you. There is something to be said about the innocent wisdom of a child, one that is not jaded to the world.
Think about it as taking a visit to your inner-child, that one shouldn’t be neglected for too long either.
What is a life without dreams? Monotony? Obligation with no direction? Having every second of your life planned with no surprises does ensure less stress, but does it ensure happiness? If you keep going through the motions day in and day out, the routine becomes second nature and your days all run together. That’s how you get into a rut.
Be brave and take a step outside of every day and see what opportunities are out there for a new journey. It offers new perspective and potential for adventures.
We all have our little bubbles that we like to dwell in. You feel safe in your bubble, it’s comfortable, you know where everything is so why move beyond it? What makes anything out there better than what is in your bubble? Most would rather stay in their bubble and not be disappointed rather than venture out and discover something new and potentially exciting. Sometimes the best adventures are just filling your tank and driving until you see something you haven’t before.
Not everything you want to see is fully documented online. Sometimes it takes just stepping outside and stumbling upon something to discover it was what you were looking for.
All too often we take ourselves too seriously. That is why we have friends and family. These are the people that we can shed our workforce personas and be completely ourselves with. We feel no obligation to impress, in fact, these are the people that will celebrate our accomplishments, but remind us not to be too full of ourselves.
They are also the people who we goof off with. When we have our precious free time, they are the ones we seek out to sit around and watch TV, have with an occasional food fight, go for a hike and have sword fights with tree branches, or maybe even shopping while trying on the most hideous outfits or makeup just to get a rise out of your friend. These activities will disconnect you from your stress, and if you’re with the right friends, give you the opportunity to address it in a safe place with people who love you unconditionally with a clear mind.
- Be in the moment
There are 1440 minutes in a day. It sounds like a lot, but those minutes are fleeting. A lifetime can be lived in them and so many things can be missed if you allow it. When an opportunity presents itself, hesitation can be your worst enemy. Throwing caution to the wind and just saying yes can change your life. When you take that opportunity, relish in it, cast aside worries and take in everything. Opportunities do not happen every day, but once you jump for one they might come more often. Just remember to enjoy your life, live in it. The obligations will still be there.
Hopefully, you can simplify your life a bit by taking some of these tips and adding them to your everyday routine.
By Evelyn Kail