Finding Balance to Improve Your Mental Health
By Rachel Shouse
It's safe to say that most people wish there was more time in the day. Managing to fit all of your obligations into one 24-hour period can feel daunting. While there are ways to optimize your productivity, it's important that you remember that you may still have to eliminate some activities in order to reduce your stress levels. You may find that creating a step-by-step plan is extremely beneficial. Instead of jumping from this obligation and that activity, you already know what you're supposed to be working on.
Step 1: Prioritize
It took me quite a while realize the importance of priorities. I didn't feel like getting everything done would be so difficult. I was very wrong. If you feel you can relate, know that setting priorities is very helpful.
Whether you have a spouse, a demanding job, children, or some other part of your life that means a lot to you, it's time to make that your No. 1 priority. If it's your spouse, set aside time so you guys can maintain and cultivate a healthy relationship. If you're in college and have big aspirations, complete your schoolwork before you do other activities. You may find it helpful to focus on one priority at a time, instead of expecting yourself to do it all at once.
Step 2: Be Mindful of Realistic Expectations
Too many people feel like they should be able to do it all. This can lead to many problems. Not only will you notice a lack of quality in your work, you'll beat yourself up over the obligations you couldn't complete. That guilt or inadequate feeling can cause serious problems. Many people can develop and suffer from conditions like depression and anxiety when these feelings last far longer than they should.
Step 3: Optimize Your Time to Reduce Stress
Writing a to-do list may seem like an unnecessary waste of time. In reality, a lot of people use them in order to keep themselves in check. This helps them use their time wisely. It takes time to learn how to focus on one task at a time so give yourself grace as you get started.
A lot of people these days feel that they should be able to get it all done. We all hear about how much easier life is now compared to the good ol' days. In reality, because of all of the conveniences that we have now, people don't always consider washing a load of laundry a success. Instead of focusing on what you couldn't complete, focus on what you did get done. Celebrate the little things just as much as the big ones.
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