We are living in a day and age where rushing to get somewhere or having an overflowing plate of events in front of us, has become a normal way of life. It’s not uncommon to have every single day of the week filled to the brim with things on our to-do lists—but is it necessary, or even healthy for that matter?
In a nutshell, the answer to that question depends on who you are and your individual tolerance for stress. No matter which way you slice it, stress isn’t good for anyone. There is a real psychological connection to stress and physical disease. In other words—stress can kill you. According to Dr. Stephen Sinatra, “Too much stress, over time, can exhaust you and your adrenal glands where cortisol is produced, and accelerate the aging process, harm your immune system, and even shrink vital brain tissue resulting in memory loss and problems with concentration.”
It’s important to prioritize things in our lives in a way that we can be comfortable with, but more importantly, in a way that will keep stress at bay. There are many things you can do to slow the speed and intensity of life down to a more relaxed pace and still get things done.
Here are five suggestions to get rid of the need to rush.
- Look at the week at a glance: Pick the top three things that you can easily get done within that period and do them. Concentrate on nothing other than these items until you’ve accomplished each one. This will help keep you focused on a small list without having the overwhelming task of getting to everything at once.
- Say “No” sometimes: It is not necessary to agree to do everything with or for everybody. This is one of the quickest sure fire ways to completely burn yourself out. If you really don’t want to task yourself with something or go somewhere…just say no. It’s ok—do not guilt yourself into thinking you must do everything, nor should you let others make you feel guilty for declining to do something. If your true feelings are telling you it’s not a good idea, or you simply don’t want to do it—don’t, end of the story.
- Pace yourself: There’s no better recipe for disaster in life than to start the day off in a rush. The moment you tell yourself that you’re rushing—things begin to spiral out of control. If you need to, make it a habit to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual, in order to do what you need to at a relaxed and unhurried pace. Prep yourself for work or events ahead of time so you can breathe easy knowing there’s no hurry to get it done right away.
- Decide on a time to shut things down: There’s no better way to treat yourself with the respect you deserve than to give yourself limits. Not only can you do this with yourself, but you should also be doing this with other people as well. Time is your most valuable commodity. Use it wisely and don’t allow others to take advantage of what you can’t get back.
- Schedule me time: Schedule this into your day—not into your week, into your day—everyday with no excuse. Anything from taking a long luxurious bubble bath all alone to reconnect with yourself, to taking a walk to clear your head. How you choose to do this will differ from what other people may choose. The bottom line is, don’t make excuses for not giving back to yourself.
All in all, remember that you are your own biggest advocate. Treat yourself the same way you’d want someone else to treat you. Put value on yourself by valuing your need to live your life as stress-free as possible. Not only will you be healthier, but you’ll also be happier and much more capable of giving yourself to others in a way that doesn’t take away from the most important person—you.
Desirae L. Benson is a writer, content editor, magazine columnist, and entertainment media host based on the west coast. She hosts her own show featuring four different segments with celebrities, musicians, and people of prominence. To find out more, visit her on Facebook and IG by using @DesiraeBBB #Adayinthelifeofdesirae
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