5 Common Sources of Stress & What to Do About Them – Guest Blog

Most people have an idea of what’s stressing them out, but others can’t quite put their finger on the specifics. They just know that they operate under a certain degree of stress and anxiety much of the time. To kick our stress triggers to the curb once and for all, we must identify the situations, people and issues causing us the most grief. Take a look at the following five common sources of stress, take heart that you are not alone—and then take action:

More month than money

The average American in 2012 with at least one credit card has nearly $16,000 in credit card debt, CreditCards.com reports. In addition, many people live paycheck to paycheck, which means the slightest kink in the financial plans—like new bigstock-stress-free-totally-relaxed-wi-43251721tires for the minivan, braces for your kiddo or a broken washing machine—will cause you to experience the “more month than money” phenomenon. Instead of piling on more credit card debt, which will lead to more stress, vow that this is the year you take control of your finances. Start by:

Now here’s the rub: You have to stick to the plan. You have to use the app. It might be rough at first, but you’ll get used to it, and you’ll be glad you did.

Long hours at work

Start by understanding and accepting that you can change your situation. Take a deep breath, grit your teeth and talk to your boss. Ask if you can cut back your work hours to a more manageable amount; he or she might be more understanding than you think. You can also start looking for other positions that have better hours and are maybe even closer to home.

Not enough “me” time

Too often, we are so busy taking care of (select one or all): our kids, our spouse, our boss, our co-workers, our pets, our aging parents, our friends or our relatives that we have zero time left for ourselves. A chronic lack of “me” time can cause stress to rise. To zap this stress demon from our lives, you need to take back some of your time from everyone else.

First: Learn to say no. Then, resolve to spend at least 20 minutes a day doing something just for yourself (and then do it). This can range from retreating to your bedroom to read a book, going out for a brisk walk with your dog or relaxing in a hot tub.

A messy house

Home-sweet-home would be a lot sweeter if you could actually find anything, right? Resolve to tackle and tame the mess—one day and one project at a time. Set a timer for 15 minutes and de-clutter or clean whatever you want. Ask your family members to do their part, too. Assign chores to kids of all ages, and ask your spouse to pull his or her weight.

Poor diet

Life is so busy, it can be difficult to sit down and eat a proper meal, let alone prepare one. But a poor diet can be an inherent cause of stress. Give your body and mind the proper nutrition to combat illness and stress. Find a local farmers market and purchase fresh fruits and veggies there a few times a month. Check out these healthy eating sites for quick and easy meals.

There. Don’t you feel better already, just reading about knocking out your stress? Think how good you’ll feel when you actually implement these tips. You can do it.

Guest blog courtesy Social Monsters.org.

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