This month is not only a time for welcoming the newness of Spring, it’s also a time for reflection and a time to release all that no longer serves you.
It’s a time for shedding all that you’ve carried and hibernated with throughout the Winter.
A time for releasing all of the stress that has built up.
And how fitting is this — April is stress awareness month.
So in honor of that, we want to touch on the importance of stress management in your life, especially as it relates to chronic disorganization.
Signs That Stress May Be Controlling Your Life
When you’re affected by chronic disorganization, the clutter and chaos around you are symptoms of a bigger battle you’re fighting from within, and stress is a large component of what drives that.
No matter the culprit or specific condition behind your chronic disorganization, stress undoubtedly ignites and fuels the fire, and what happens as that fire builds?
You guessed it…more stress.
Stress and chronic disorganization feed off of one another.
But you already know that.
You know how you feel.
You know that the tasks that lay before you can feel so overwhelming, it’s not uncommon for you to completely shut down and avoid starting on a single one.
And then the to-do’s continue to pile up…and you have so many thoughts rapid-firing through your mind, you can’t possibly keep things straight…and the stress of feeling disorganized and overloaded bogs you down even more.
Before you know it, stress is erratically driving the vehicle of your life.
Although you may know that you are feeling this way, it can be so all-encompassing that it’s difficult to see the level at which stress actually has a hold on your life, and it can be hard to see a way out.
Stress is an inevitable part of life, but it’s time to take back control if you’re feeling:
- avoidant of social sita
These are a few of the big indicators of excessive stress, and it’s true we will all experience varying degrees of this throughout our lives, but if you’re feeling this way more days than not, it may be time to implement some stress management techniques.
Now I know what you may be thinking…
“Great, stress management techniques…one more thing to put on the to-do list I can’t get to”
“Does it really make a difference? I’ve been this way all of my life. What’s going to change things now?”
We hear you, and we know it can feel daunting – any sort of change feels that way at first. But let’s talk a bit about the why.
Why Stress Management Is Important
Not all stress is bad, but when it becomes chronic and continues on for days, weeks, or even months at a time, your dishes start to pile up, papers litter your counters, and disorganization takes control of your life.
But it affects even more than the organization of your space.
Prolonged chronic stress can lead to:
- low self-esteem
- worsened procrastination/poor performance
- deteriorating health – mentally, physically, and spiritually
And this is why the management of stress is so important. Your overall wellness depends on it, and you are deserving of that wellness.
But what if you’ve been stuck in this stress cycle for most of your life? Does stress management really work?
Our answer to you is a resounding “yes!”.
The research is there – once you’ve been exposed to chronic stressors over a long period of time, your nervous system becomes stuck in fight-or-flight, and in turn, your health goes haywire.
Stress management gives you the tools to essentially “reset” that system or bring it back to a more relaxed state where healing occurs.
So where and how do you get started, and how do you know what techniques are right for you?
That’s where the SHiFTⓇ method comes into play.
SHiFTⓇ represents elements of life that, when properly managed, can lead you to live a deserving, wholesome life.
As certified professional organizers, we are passionate about helping you to implement the changes that will help SHiFTⓇ your life from fragmentation to wholeness, and today we share a little insight into our top 5 stress management techniques as they align with SHiFTⓇ.
So let’s dive in.
5 Stress Management Techniques To SHiFTⓇ Your Life
i am deserving
When beginning the SHiFTⓇ of your home, health, and life, the question you want to be asking yourself is “is this serving me?”
If the answer is no, then it affects how deserving you feel (the i in SHiFTⓇ), and in turn, has a direct effect on every other facet of life.
Change can be difficult, and your journey will be unique to everyone else’s, but starting with these stress management techniques will put you well on your way to bettering your life as a whole.
1. Connect With Others
For the social aspect of SHiFTⓇ, making meaningful connections with people in your life is a very important factor in stress reduction.
Being able to confide in someone not only gives you the support you need in a journey like this, but helps to alleviate and sort through certain stressors in your life.
If you find it difficult to form these connections, you are not alone, and reaching out to a professional can be exactly the relationship you need. This could be in the form of a therapist, life coach, or professional organizer.
Human connection and feeling seen and understood is a major component of stress management.
2. Prioritize Health
For the health aspect of SHiFTⓇ, we are referring to wholesome health – both physical and mental.
This is such an important (if not the most important) part of what drives your stress levels, so really make time for it – even in the smallest ways.
To support your mental health and mitigate stress, do your best to disconnect from toxicity and set boundaries in your life. Be selective of who you spend your time with, and ask yourself “is this serving me and the life I want for myself?”
Limit the time you spend on social media, and manage the time you spend watching the news.
As for the physical aspect of your health, be sure that you’re getting movement in every day, and do your best to nourish your body. Remember, it’s not about perfection. Putting effort and intentional time into caring for yourself will boost endorphins that keep you motivated to take the next step forward.
And when you feel better, you do better.
3. Practice Meditation
Repeat this to yourself: “i am deserving”. This aspect of SHiFTⓇ is the heart of the method. If you don’t properly manage the social, health, financial, and time aspects of life, they can quickly become overwhelming and dominate you into feeling less deserving. With time and attention into the SHiFT method, those elements soon take less weight over your life and you’re able to confidently say “i am deserving”.
Meditation and affirmations can play a huge role in enhancing those feelings of self-worth.
Each day your mind and body are exposed to toxins and things that don’t serve you, and much of that can be unavoidable. Add in common daily stressors and you’re left with thoughts such as:
“This is too much”
“I can’t do this”
“I’m so worthless”…
Meditation detoxes the mind and allows you the space to invite new intentions that better serve you.
Many people can feel intimidated by meditation, but you do not have to be skilled at it in order to reap the benefits – that’s why they call it a practice.
Start with just 10 minutes per day of a simple guided meditation, and choose a positive affirmation to recite throughout the day in place of your defeating thoughts.
4. Adopt An Abundance Mindset
For the financial aspect of SHiFTⓇ, managing your perspective on your finances can greatly reduce your stress levels.
It’s very common that people struggle with the stress that comes with the financial aspects of life, and rightfully so. Your finances can have great control over the way you are able to live your life. But having a scarcity mindset (the belief that there’s never enough to go around) brings on added stress and limits your growth.
To best manage your financial stress, work on adopting an abundance mindset that assures you there is more than enough for everyone.
Now of course making this change is not as easy as snapping your fingers – these types of mindsets are developed very early on in life. But there are very effective ways to begin shifting your mindset to what better serves you.
One of the best things you can do is to list out what you do have access to, and focus on that while practicing gratitude. Then, turn this into an affirmation.
“my financial situation allows me to have a roof over my head, and warm, running water. I am able to fill my fridge with nutritious foods, and I am so grateful that I have enough to provide this.”
Other affirmations to try include:
“I am safe, and there is plenty to go around”.
When it comes down to the management of your finances, focus on prioritizing what you actually have control over.
5. Remove Distractions And Add In Buffer Time To Your Schedule
In today’s frantically paced world, there are distractions upon distractions chipping away at your valuable time, and it can be near impossible to filter them out.
Making a point to manage those distractions appropriately can add back significant blocks of time to your day.
Here are some tips to eliminate distractions:
- set app limits on your phone – this can help to manage the time you spend on the apps that typically take up too much of your time.
- set a timer for blocks of time to work and silence notifications until that block of time is up
- know the time length of your attention span – if it’s 20 minutes, stick to that block of time to work on a task, and then take a 10-minute break before starting again, or move on to a new task
Another huge source of stress when it comes to time falls on your ability to manage your schedule.
If you’re typically late to appointments and events and find yourself frantically piling into the car at the last minute, this is only adding significant stress to your life.
Take some time to write out your schedule before each day. If it takes you an hour to get ready, and you’re still rushing the last 10 minutes, add in an extra 10-minute buffer time and write down the time you need to start getting ready.
More On How To SHiFTⓇ Your Life Away From Stress
As we’ve touched on before, change can be incredibly daunting, especially when you’re living a life affected by chronic disorganization. It’s easy to think that you are simply hard-wired for stress the rest of your life.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, and we want more for you. We want you to live out the wonderful, healthy, vibrant life you are so deserving of, and sometimes you just need someone to help guide you down that path.
That’s where we come in.
So if you read this blog nodding “yes, yes, yes!” but still feel hesitation around whether or not you can make lasting change in your life, we would be honored to have a chat with you about how to SHiFTⓇ your life for the better.
But even if you’re not feeling ready to make that kind of commitment, you can still learn more about the ways that SHiFTⓇ can change your life.
Keep an eye out for my book coming out in April, Making the SHiFT®, True Stories of How People Affected by Chronic Disorganization Learn to Live a Deserving Life.
Here’s to you and living a full, intentional life (with less stress). ☺️