I recently ran across an amazing online article from Texas Woman's University that shares “52 Proven Stress Reducers.” I loved all 52, but here are my favorites--they will really help you know what to say when you tell your soul to “Chill Out!”
1. Don't rely on your memory. Write down appointment times, when to pick up the laundry, when library books are due, etc.
2. Be prepared to wait. A paperback can make a wait in a post office line almost pleasant.
3. Don't put up with something that doesn't work right. If your alarm clock, wallet, shoe laces, windshield wipers—whatever--are a constant aggravation, get them fixed or get new ones.
4. Relax your standards. The world will not end if the grass doesn't get mowed this weekend.
5. Simplify, simplify, simplify...
6. Schedule a realistic day. Avoid the tendency to schedule back-to-back appointments; allow time between appointments for a breathing spell.
7. Turn "needs" into preferences. Our basic physical needs translate into food, water, and keeping warm. Everything else is a preference. Don't get attached to preferences.
8. Say "No!" Saying "no" to extra projects, social activities, and invitations you know you don't have the time or energy for takes practice, self-respect, and a belief that everyone, everyday, needs quiet time to relax and be alone.
9. Plan ahead. Don't let the gas tank get below one-quarter full; keep a well-stocked "emergency shelf" of home staples; don't wait until you're down to your last bus token or postage stamp to buy more; etc.
10. Practice preventive maintenance. Your car, appliances, home, and relationships will be less likely to break down/fall apart "at the worst possible moment."
11. Do nothing which, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.
12. Get up fifteen minutes earlier in the morning. The inevitable morning mishaps will be less stressful.
13. Prepare for the morning the evening before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, put out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.
14. Do something for somebody else.
15. Focus on understanding rather than on being understood; on loving rather than on being loved.
16. Do something that will improve your appearance. Looking better can help you feel better.
17. Do one thing at a time. When you are with someone, be with that person and with no-one or nothing else. When you are busy with a project, concentrate on doing that project and forget about everything else you have to do.
18. If an especially unpleasant task faces you, do it early in the day and get it over with. Then the rest of your day will be free of anxiety.
19. Learn to delegate responsibility to capable others.
20. Have a forgiving view of events and people. Accept the fact that we live in an imperfect world.