Addressing your stressors

Submitted on Thursday June 25th, 2015

When times are hard, many of us grit our teeth and keep plugging away. While such commitment can be admirable, it can also lead to resentment and burnout.

Instead of just toughing it out, think about ways to "work smarter." There may be opportunities to change how you approach situations that could directly reduce your load. The Mayo Clinic suggests looking for ways to "alter or avoid" stressors.

  • Speak up. Others may do things in ways that irritate or disappoint you. Let them know your preferences. Use "I" statements so it is clear that you are not criticizing. "I worry that if pill bottles are in sight, Dad will take an extra dose. Let's keep them in the cabinet."
  • Protect your time. Make a plan and aim for efficiency: Instead of dealing with mail daily, pay bills once a week. Group errands so that you're not driving all over town every day. When you are running short on time, let others know ("I have only 10 minutes") and bring things to a close when time is up.
  • Respect your limits. You honestly can't do everything. Nor can everything always go smoothly. "No" is not a bad word. It simply tells others where you stand. Remove from your to-do list the things that aren't essential (even if you believe you "should" do them).

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