With the start of Term 1 underway, some of you may already be feeling anxious about what’s upcoming for the year, and how this busy workload might impact your wellbeing and happiness.
It can be easy to get caught up in the rat race – the overwhelm of the endless things to do at work and at home and how it may be difficult to stay balanced and feel in control. Living in this state day in, day out, can lead to fatigue, chronic stress and other health issues that impact your quality of life, as well as how fulfilled you feel at work and in your relationships.
To help you stay grounded and bust that stress before it spirals into chaos, here are our top 4 stress-busting tips for principals, teachers, and anyone who feels they need a little more ‘balance’ in their life for 2018.
SORT OUT YOUR PRIORITIES
One of the most common reasons for chronic stress is the perception that you have way too much to do every day and can’t possibly get it done, leading to overwhelm as well as low confidence because you may feel less capable or competent than you’d like to feel.
To minimize the overwhelm in your busy life, you need to prioritise. And it’s easier than you think! One of the most useful ways to prioritise is to first decide on what you value most in life and how you want to feel every day. For example, your top 4 values may be health, family, peace and joy. So then you’ll rank your to do list in a way that focuses on those values (rather than prioritizing a particular item because you think society expects you to do it!). Be patient with yourself, remembering you’re only human.
SAY THANKS EVERY DAY
Did you know that when you’re grateful, you cannot be stressed?! That’s because our brains are linear and can only think one thought at a time. Therefore, if you focus on the things in life you’re grateful for, you immediately block the thoughts that are worrying you. When you get into a practice of gratitude every day, you then start training your brain to find the positives.
Start by putting a reminder in your phone to think of 3 things you’re grateful for every evening before bed and notice the difference in your mindset after a couple of weeks.
SET ASIDE TIME FOR SELF-CARE EVERY WEEK
Once you get into a habit of self-care, it becomes the best investment you’ll ever make! Setting aside just 20 minutes a week to do something that’s just for you is an important way to stay grounded, reduce stress, and maintain happiness in your life. This may be listening to a meditation or mindfulness app, sitting on your verandah with a cup of tea and a magazine, reading a chapter of your favourite book, or going to a yoga class – anything at all that makes you feel relaxed and is completely for your benefit.
One of the worst pitfalls people can fall into is building up resentment towards other people because they feel they’ve been living for ‘them’ rather than themselves. This situation serves absolutely no one, so break the cycle now with a bit of self-love!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH 'UPLIFTERS'
Its easy to absorb the energy of the people around us. If you consciously surround yourself with people that are motivating, positive and encourage you, then you’ll feel ten times more positive throughout your day. Look for ‘radiators’ not ‘drains’. This is critical for reducing stress hormones in the body and developing a lasting positive outlook on life.
Plus, surrounding yourself with kind and motivating people will make life more fun and colourful…. It’s a Win, Win!
Start by implementing one of these steps at a time, and then soon you can find yourself practicing all four effortlessly.