As midnight celebrations fade to memory and the New Year forges on ahead, reality is setting in as 2018 starts to fill with responsibilities and commitments. Even if you entered the New Year feeling refreshed and ready to tackle it all with an optimistic attitude, life stressors have a way of weaseling in. However, even in the face of this, there are plenty of ways to reduce your stress levels this year! Start here to enjoy a balanced 2018.
1. Practice self-care
Between your professional and personal life, some stress is inevitable, but practicing regular self-care activities can help you avoid burnout and take the edge off in a constructive way. Many quick self-care habits can fit easily into your daily to-do list without taking up more than 30 minutes of your time.
Regardless of the time commitment, effective self-care takes several aspects into consideration: some may be fitness-oriented (such as a cardio routine), while others may aim to boost mindfulness (meditation) or simply provide some pampering (a weekly massage or movie night). Self-care can be practiced solo (reading a book or taking a bath) or with others (a group meal, book club, or yoga class).
2. Outsource responsibilities where possible
Pepper’s Personal Assistants believes what matters most when outsourcing tasks to a third party is that doing so ultimately saves the client time. Time saved on generic daily maintenance tasks equals more time to spend on your personal and professional priorities and less panic when examining your to-do list.
Our top tips for deciding which personal tasks to outsource include shifting your focus to the hours you’re saving instead of the specific tasks your PA is doing; thinking in terms of daily operations; and collaborating with your PA on your personal priorities. For example, you can save up to an hour of your time when you assign your daily (or weekly) laundry-folding duties to your PA. Instead of stressing over unfinished work projects or missing yoga class while you’re stuck in the laundry room, collaborate with your PA to lead your most efficient (and stress-free!) life.
3. Improve time management
Maintaining the foresight to stay organized in your day-to-day life will cut stress drastically. Operating on a schedule can help you improve your efficiency at work and at home. Rather than digging into office tasks at random, start the week with a basic to-do list and experiment to determine the best way to prioritize projects. Instead of running errands haphazardly, create a route that minimizes driving time. Finally, cut procrastination! Putting off responsibilities only serves to create more stress down the road. Hiring a personal assistant can help you focus on getting the important things done as soon as possible.
4. Mind your body
We’ve all got one body we must live in — so do what you can to make yours a habitable, comfortable, and healthy place! Physical stressors directly impact your mental and emotional health. Limit these and your general stress level will improve proportionally. Plus, taking care of your body is a crucial part of self-care!
Start by ensuring you’re getting enough sleep. What is considered “enough?” According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults age 18 and over require a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night to function at their peak. Keep in mind this number can vary, with some adults needing up to 9 hours of sleep per night. Regular exercise is equally as important, especially since physical activity is a great outlet to channel and extinguish existing stress. Finally, make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of nutritious foods, and minimize those that ultimately bring your energy crashing down (excess caffeine or alcohol, sugary drinks, and other empty calories).