Do you find yourself overwhelmed with a long list of to-dos and you don’t know where to begin? Maybe you know you have a lot to do, but you find yourself browsing Facebook or binge-watching Netflix instead? If so, you are not alone. Procrastination is very common, and it is oftentimes a coping strategy for an anxious mind. Here are some tips for overcoming the stress that can stifle your creativity and productivity.
Change Your Mindset
Instead of telling yourself that stress is a negative thing, remind yourself that the physical manifestations of stress are your body’s way of preparing you for any challenges that may come your way. This conscious shift in thinking has been associated with vasodilation, or opening of blood vessels, which lowers blood pressure.
Connect with Someone
When your body experiences stress, it releases cortisol as well as oxytocin. Oxytocin is known as the “cuddle hormone” and is linked to feelings of love and togetherness. Your body is wired to seek comfort from others in times of stress. Meet a friend for coffee, hit the gym with a buddy, or just chat on the phone with a trusted pal about your worries. You may find that your situation seems more manageable after seeking solace from a friend.
Start Your Day Off Right
Some of the most successful people schedule time for themselves first thing in the morning. Set your alarm 30 minutes earlier and carve out some “me” time. Use this time to work out, daydream, or plan your day. Make your bed as soon as you get out of it, so you feel like you’ve accomplished something right away. Before checking Facebook or email, decide what goal is important to you and make that your priority for the day before you get bogged down with demands of others.
Give Yourself a Break
No matter how many things are on your plate, designate a quitting time and hold yourself to that without guilt or judgment. This is especially important if you work from home. Set a time when you will stop working on your to-do list, even if it’s not completed. Did you accomplish the one goal you set for yourself in the morning? If so, great! Pour yourself a glass of wine, play a board game with your kids, take a relaxing bath, or do anything else that helps you wind down for the night. Allowing yourself a quitting time will help you avoid burnout so you can start fresh the next day.