Simple Steps for Stress Management

There are some simple, not easy, things we can do to manage our stress.  Some of my favorites include getting organized, eating well, exercising more, and setting goals.  Unleash these stress management strategies and prevent burnout.


Be Well-Organized:  Getting organized is a valuable exercise and will help you keep up with everything that you are involved with and minimize the stress by finding the information quickly without time pressure.  Some research claims we spend 45 minutes per day, personally and professionally combined, just looking for things.  That’s six work weeks a year just looking for things.


What did our parents used to say?  A place for everything and everything in its place.  Awfully good advice.  I don’t know if it will take you two hours, two days, or two weeks, but get organized.


When you get organized, you’ll save time by not having to look for things.  You’ll save money by being more efficient.  You’ll be more productive, effective, and creative by knowing where things are.  And finally, you will feel less stress, and wouldn’t that be nice.


Be Well-Fed:  There are days when we have meeting after meeting, phone call after phone call, endless emails, and we don’t get a chance to eat well.  It is not so much that you need to go on a diet, as much as a proper diet.  Try to work more of those fruits and vegetables into your diet rather than those candies, cookies, and cakes.  Of course, fruits and vegetables are great, but also try to include a balance of grains, protein, and dairy.


Play with your food, but in this way:  Before, during, and after meals, try to find ways to liven it up.  Have fun with the presentation, don’t gobble it up too fast, and recognize cues when you may be full.  Have a variety of smaller portions with lots of color.  Try to make half your plate fruit and vegetables.


Choose low-fat or fat-free milk to wash down your proteins and whole-grain choices.  Cut back on fats, sugars, and salt whenever you can.  Drink water often.  If you are a little chubby, keep in mind, if you eat 250 calories less a day and increase your exercise 250 calories a day, you will lose a pound a week.  Enjoy a proper diet.  A proper diet helps to manage your stress.  Eat every meal and snack like you are trying to be a healthy role model for your kids.  We have complete control over what we eat.  I have never accidently eaten anything, and I’m sure neither have you.


Be Well-Exercised:  Good health helps to combat stress.  Being well-exercised comes from including these five criteria to your exercise program.  It has to be something that causes you to move.  That’s real important in an exercise program.  It has to be some thing that causes you to breathe deeply.  To get the aerobic benefit.  It has to be something that causes you to bend, to put elasticity back into your muscles and ligaments.  It has to be something you enjoy and is at your pace.  Thant’s an exercise program that will last a lifetime.


Instead of a coffee break, go on a walking break.  Instead of the elevator, take a few flights of stairs. Be well-exercised and manage your stress.  You’ll not only feel better, you might even look better, too.


Be Goal-Oriented:  Setting goals relieves stress because it gives us hope that our lives can be different.  In every area of our life:  career, financial, family, friends, physical, educational, and spiritual, the formula for goal setting stays the same.


First you need to decide clearly what you want.  Be reasonable.  The goal must be attainable.  Next, give yourself a deadline for achievement.  How long we have is how long we will take.  Consider the knowledge and skill you may need to acquire to be successful in reaching the goal.  Then connect with the people, groups and organizations you will need to work with to learn the knowledge and develop those skills.  Finally, put together a plan of action.  Identify the ten steps you will take to over the next 12 hours, 12 days, 12 weeks, and 12 months to reach the goal.


Sometimes when our career hasn’t been rewarding, and our social life is non-existent, we start to feel the blues.  There is no better remedy to relieve the stress of disappointment than a good round of goal setting.  Set goals and relieve some of your stress today.


Kit Welchlin, M.A., CSP, is a professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at