Ten tension-reducing strategies

Many people experience varying degrees of stress in their daily lives. If you are one of these people, try some of the following strategies to lower your stress level:

  • Get an early start. Wake up 15 minutes earlier than usual.

  • Prepare for your morning the night before. Set the breakfast table, make lunches, lay out the clothes you plan to wear, etc.

  • Don't procrastinate. If you plan to do something tomorrow, do it today.

  • Plan ahead. For example, keep your gas tank full to avoid stopping for gas when you are busy.

  • Make lists. Don't simply rely on your memory. Write down appointments, errands and obligations.

  • Practice preventive maintenance. This can keep things running smoothly so your appliances or car won't fall apart at the worst moments.

  • Take a break. Even just a few 10-minute breaks throughout the day can help clear your mind.

  • Exercise. Go for a walk during your lunch hour, or take the stairs instead of the elevator.

  • Just say 'no'. Learn to say no to opportunities or obligations that create unrealistic demands for you.

  • Delegate responsibility. Don't take on everything yourself; share duties with your partner or co-workers.

Source: Adapted from First Draft, September issue.

GAF president assists in Katrina recovery efforts