The Three-Step Daily Checklist for a Calmer, More Balanced Life

Plain and simple, stress has become synonymous with our day-to- day lives.

But is that healthy?

It’s only natural to get bogged down with financial burdens and personal hardships that take their toll on us mentally; however, what happens when you have trouble bouncing back?

From home to the office and beyond, stress follows us everywhere we go and can be dangerous to our health and well-being if we allow it to build too much. The numbers don’t lie in regard to the widespread pressures of society and their potential dangers:

  • 77% of the public regularly experience physical symptoms related to stress
  • 33% of people believe that they are living with “extreme” levels of stress
  • The annual cost attributed to stress-related health issues exceeds $300 billion

Maybe you’re tired of your job. Perhaps your romantic relationships aren’t where you want them to be. The question remains: how can you take a step back and stop being so stressed all the time?

The solution for many isn’t a miracle pill or a long-term vacation. Instead, consider taking some smaller steps day-by- day to embrace a simpler, balanced life. The subtle changes you make today can reap huge benefits for you mental and emotional health down the line.

Take a look at the following list and see which principles you can start applying to your daily life.

Make The Most of Your Mornings

How you decide to start your morning is instrumental to how your mood will be for the remainder of the day. If you constantly wake up exhausted, sluggish and annoyed, you’re obviously off to a poor start.

In response, you need to make sure your morning routine ticks the following boxes:

  • Stop smashing the snooze button: strive to instead wake up naturally or train yourself to get up at your first alarm (otherwise you run the risk of destroying your quality of sleep).
  • Make sure that you’re comfortable and not waking up with any aches or pains: if you constantly have cricks in your neck, for example, it’s probably time to start shopping around for a new bed.
  • You should never feel rushed in the morning: it may be necessarily to start going to bed earlier or waking up earlier to make this happen.

On the flip side, the successful habits of so-called “morning people” include giving yourself time in the morning to read, make your own breakfast and get in some light exercise. Also, you should take a few minutes every morning to assess your daily goals and look forward to the day ahead versus scrolling through your phone or freaking out over the morning news.

Divide Up Your Day

As you go through your daily routine, whether that be at the office at home, you should try to practice mindfulness as means of assessing your decisions in a level-headed manner. In other words, you should strive to think about even the smallest of your decisions to ensure that you’re not putting yourself in a stressful situation.

For example, mindfulness might mean making the conscious decision not to rush to McDonald’s for lunch because you’re trying to lose weight and you know that such a meal would ruin your diet. Perhaps you receive an email from a co-worker that makes your blood boil and you want to respond angrily; however, by taking a step back you realize that doing so would be a rash decision with harsh consequences.

Being mindful is about being aware of your own actions and understanding their long-term implications. Don’t rely on snap decisions, but instead take the proverbial chill pill and think before you act.

There’s Always Time for You

Day after day, you should make it a goal to spend at least one hour per day doing something that you want to do. Productive activities such as jogging or reading a book are deal; however, time spent doing anything you enjoy can indeed be valuable.

Similarly, you should make it a point to give yourself something to look forward to each and every week, whether it’s a weekend vacation or trip to movies. Doing this helps you understand that happiness is always around the corner and that even the most tedious days will pass.

Don’t let stress get you down. Take the steps to make your days more manageable by starting off on the right foot, practicing mindfulness and making time for yourself. You may be surprised at how quickly you notice changes when you shift your mindset.

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