My plan was to write for my blog every two weeks. But I didn’t write an article two weeks ago, as I was supposed to. There is just so much going on with my family right now. I found it more comforting to immerse myself in writing software, instead of trying to write a blog.
At stressful times like this I rely on having an arsenal of coping tips. Three tips that really help me are to take positive action, to talk to other people, and to realize that everything doesn’t have to be done at once.
Take Positive Action
When I am feeling stressed because there are so many things that need to be done, I find that it can really help to choose just one thing, and carry it through to completion. The feeling of relief comes not only from having one less thing to worry about, but also from the knowledge that I am taking care of things.
Taking positive action means doing something, no matter how small, about the problem. It doesn’t mean ignoring the problem and working on something else.
“In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.” — Lee Iacocca
Sometimes when I use this tip I realize that there are things that I actually can’t take action on at the moment. Worrying about those things, but being unable to do something, can be very stressful. So when I uncover something that I can’t act on because of a prerequisite, or because the time has not yet come, I make a note of what is needed to trigger that action. Then I can put that task aside for the time being.
Talk To Other People
When you are facing a particularly stressful time in your life it can really help to talk with other people. It helps to talk with your support system — friends and family — to vent or get another perspective on the problem.
It also helps to talk with other people who are facing or have faced the same problem. Just knowing that someone else has the same problem can make you feel less alone. People who are coping with the same difficulties are more likely to understand how you feel, and can share tips and knowledge on how to cope.
You can look for support groups, where you can meet and talk with other people. And don’t neglect to seek professional help if you find yourself unable to cope.
Everything Doesn’t Have To Be Done At Once
When faced with a problem your mind can kick into overdrive, thinking and planning on every aspect of the situation. In most cases, not everything needs to be done at the moment. But with your mind in overdrive you can experience problems with sleeping and an inability to relax.
Step back for a moment, and look at the timeline. How soon do certain things need to be done? Perhaps you can assign yourself some tasks for this week, and schedule others for the following week. Big issues can require ongoing work, but may have a deadline of weeks or months away.
Don’t try to juggle everything at once, or you will wear yourself out. I like to schedule things on my calendar, so that I have a date when I know I will take care of something.
When you realize that it doesn’t have to all be done at once, you can take a calmer approach. You may see that some of the tasks don’t really have to be done at all. And you may see some tasks that you can delegate to others who are willing to help.
Sometimes life throws a lot at you at once. By relaxing and taking things step by step you can avoid stress and handle the difficult situation.