Do you feel under pressure in your life?
Are you weighed down by too many responsibilities?
Do you have too many people expecting the world of you?
Do you feel you need to constantly be on the move and can’t relax?
You’re not alone.
We all live busy lives, pulled in so many different directions by friends, family, responsibilities, work, and more.
We could all use some additional tips, tricks, and strategies to deal with the stress that we’re under. And that’s exactly what we will provide you with in this article!
15 Ways To Relieve Some Of The Pressure You Are Feeling
1. Seek support from friends and family.
A solid support network can help relieve your stress. People are inherently social creatures. We all benefit from connecting with, helping, and sometimes being helped by others.
Consider asking your friends and family for some help with your responsibilities. Or, if they are the cause of that additional pressure, you may find that you need to establish healthy boundaries to relieve some of that pressure for yourself.
2. Learn how to say “no” to unreasonable demands on your time.
The ability to say “no” can be the difference between a stressful life and a manageable life. People who have a hard time saying “no” will find that they become overburdened with other people’s responsibilities before they know it.
The ugly truth is that many people will see your agreeability as a means of taking advantage of you. If you are a person who can’t say no, there are undoubtedly people around you who know that when they ask you to take on some additional responsibility.
It’s okay to say “no” to someone who makes unreasonable demands on your time.
3. Practice time management and set realistic deadlines.
A busy person must learn to practice quality time management. A busy person will always have responsibilities, things to do, and even more things to do.
Assuming you can’t just drop some responsibilities, you’ll need to learn more effective time management techniques to make the most of the time you have available to you. Furthermore, realistic deadlines will help you create appropriate space to relieve some of the pressure of getting everything done now.
4. Avoid procrastination and stay on top of your tasks.
People often think that there is too much to do and not enough time. For some, that’s true. They absolutely have too much going on to fit into their 24 hours. However, others have more than enough time if only they didn’t wait until the last minute to tackle a task.
Procrastination is a time and energy killer. Instead of getting the task done, the procrastinator may find themselves thinking and worrying about it until they finish it. Therefore, it’s generally better to just get it done.
5. Establish a healthy work-life balance.
The boundaries between work and private life are constantly blurred and meshing together further and further.
More often than not, it seems that management makes unreasonable demands on our time and attention when we are away from the workplace. You may get regular calls when you’re off the clock, be expected to answer emails 24/7 without being “on call,” or work overtime whether or not you actually want to. Establishing boundaries with your workplace is essential.
(Author’s note: Being a Gen X’er, I remember a time before everyone was easily reachable with cellphones. An easy solution is to buy yourself a second, cheap cellphone with a prepaid or cheap plan and do everything for work through it. That’s the phone number you give to work, the phone you install apps or check your email on, and that way, you can turn it off when it’s time to turn off from work. No, your work probably won’t pay for it, but it will pay for itself in stress reduction.)
6. Prioritize your tasks and focus on completing the most important ones.
People who feel under pressure likely have a list of things they need to do. An important part of time management and task completion is understanding which deadlines are pressing soon. Once you identify which deadlines are looming, you can prioritize your efforts on accomplishing those tasks first. That will ease your overall load because you won’t constantly be trying to play catch up, assuming you haven’t overburdened yourself with tasks.
7. Identify the source of your stress and brainstorm ways to address it.
Sometimes the source of your stress isn’t readily apparent. For example, you may have responsibilities and tasks you must take care of. On the other hand, it may not actually be the tasks that make you feel under pressure. Sometimes it’s the people you’re surrounded with that are adding pressure and stress to your life.
If you’re feeling the pressure, it’s a good idea to analyze where exactly that pressure is coming from. Even if you think you’re feeling stressed for no reason, you may find there are easier fixes to make than you might imagine once you truly understand the sources of pressure in your life.
8. Write down your thoughts and feelings in a journal.
A journal is an excellent way to sort out your stresses and pressures. Furthermore, journaling is a therapeutic measure that can help you vent off the stress you may otherwise not feel comfortable sharing with others.
This is helpful for people who don’t necessarily want to talk about it to others or don’t feel like they can be vulnerable. And, of course, not everyone is fortunate to have people around them who care enough to want to listen. Journaling is an excellent stress reliever.
9. Learn and develop your mindfulness.
Mindfulness is a trendy buzzword in self-help spaces because it’s an easily marketable product. That is, anyone can package up mindfulness to sell books, tickets to conferences, and speaking engagements.
Still, mindfulness is a helpful stress management technique that you should not overlook if you’re skeptical. Simply put, mindfulness is about being in the present moment.
What does that mean, though? It means that right now, your mind is present in this moment. You’re not thinking about what you must do ten minutes from now, tomorrow, the deadline on Monday, all the activities you need to take care of next week, and the bills that are due soon. Your mind is right here, unburdened by the stresses of everything else you’re going to have to do in the future.
10. Take breaks to engage in a relaxing activity, such as reading or yoga.
Many busy people feel like they don’t have enough hours in the day to get everything done. Personal care is often one of the first things to fall by the wayside.
Who has time for rest and relaxation? Well, you do. Everyone does. The truth is that we always have time for what we make a priority. You must prioritize rest and recreation, so it doesn’t get shoved aside by other responsibilities.
Make no mistake, rest and relaxation are more important than most of what you’re doing. Otherwise, you will burn yourself out spectacularly. Create space for rest and relaxation time in your schedule and treat it as an engagement you cannot cancel.
11. Take a vacation or plan a getaway to relax and recharge.
A change of scenery and pace can help to recharge your batteries. A vacation or getaway from the responsibilities of your life can give you much-needed time to decompress. Indeed, scientific research has shown there are several major benefits to taking a vacation.
But hey, that’s not always a possibility. Sometimes you don’t have the time. Maybe you don’t have the life circumstances that allow you to take a formal vacation. Instead, consider a staycation, where you stay at home with your cell turned off, doing things that relax you.
You may also consider an outing to a nearby city or unfamiliar location. Being away from your typical life for a night or two in a hotel can be a wonderful break.
12. Take good care of your physical health.
Do not underestimate the power of a good diet, exercise, and regular sleep. These essential activities help keep your body and mind in good health. Proper diet, sleep and exercise all provide mood-balancing benefits and help your body produce the endorphins needed to help you cope with stress.
You may also find that reducing substance use significantly benefits your overall mental well-being. Too much caffeine can exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety, for example, so being more conscious of your consumption of energy drinks, coffee, and tea is a good idea.
13. Learn to meditate and focus your mind.
Meditation is another popular, marketable self-help product. It’s so popular that many people are rightfully skeptical. How does trying to quiet your mind actually benefit me?
Well, when you live a busy, stressful life, knowing how to rest your mind from it once in a while can keep you from staying wound up. Meditation is one way to let your emotions come and go, still your mind, and find relief. It’s a way to tap into and develop mindfulness. Even a simple breathing exercise can help.
One popular exercise is box breathing, where you inhale for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, hold it for four seconds, and repeat. You focus on your breathing and counting the seconds. It’s a simple meditation you can do at any time, in any place. Here’s a graphic that can help you practice:
14. Seek out additional resources such as books, articles, and podcasts related to stress management.
Thanks to the wonders of the internet, there are countless resources out there offering a variety of perspectives on how to handle stress management and pressure. You may try poking around in different books, articles, podcasts, and websites to find additional information on managing stress.
15. Pursue professional help from a counselor.
Self-help isn’t the only help that exists. And sometimes, the problems we’re dealing with are bigger than self-help. You may need some assistance from a certified professional to address the causes of your stress and pressure.
Sometimes it’s a matter of just doing too much. Other times it might be a matter of being unable to say no because of poor boundaries or past traumas. Whatever the reason, meeting with a certified mental health counselor may help you uncover the reasons for your stress and develop healthier management techniques.