The Single Best Thing to do to Manage Stress
In the last few years, stress has accumulated and anxiety has bubbled over immensely at times, but the one thing I have learned in dealing with the craziness, is that respectfully saying NO is the best way to stay sane.
Saying no for me is really difficult as I have big time FOMO (fear of missing out). I love being social and active and normally am happy to take on extra hours at work, however this time around, sometimes this piles up to become way too much and I am spread far too thin.
Saying NO to extra hours at work, saying NO to going out for drinks or dinner and (this one was the toughest for me) saying no to joining teams for an evening of playing sports or hiking afforded me the extra time I needed to study for my exams and accomplish all the things I needed to without feeling rushed or under the gun.
Learning to say no to extraneous things allows you more time to focus on what you truly need to do to get things done and to do so with sanity. It affords you time to exercise and eat right so that you can maintain your energy, manage stress and do what you need to at a comfortable pace. Saying NO also garners respect from your co-workers and friends as they will understand that you are capable of determining your own boundaries. Start with one task at a time. Perhaps its that extra coffee date that you know is going to set you back by an hour, or maybe it is that extra project your boss so eloquently asked you to add to your already growing list of tasks. Try declining politely, or asking if perhaps there is another person who can perform the task, or if it can be performed at another time.
My ability to say no is still being refined, however I have learned that the more I stand my ground, the less stressed and more productive I am. I feel less resentful toward to amount of work I have to do and I am a more pleasant person to be around.