Reduce stress: Overwhelm, emotional meltdowns, insomnia or low energy – read here, what you can do to relieve stress and bring your life back into balance.
Stress is an everyday phenomenon for many women – especially those who tend to be perfectionists. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a professional, entrepreneur or a combination, it’s important to develop strategies for managing stress to maintain your mental health.
In this article, you’ll find 7 methods to help you reduce stress and overcome perfectionism – which can be a major trigger of stress.
Learn to set new priorities
Perfectionists often have a tendency to want to have everything under control. Maybe you feel the same way: you have difficulty delegating things or accepting help. At a certain point, however, this can become overwhelming, especially if you heroically try to do everything at once. So take time to reflect carefully on your tasks. Write them all down and then decide:
- What’s really important?
- What do you need to do yourself?
- What is not so important?
- What can someone else take over?
Once you have reordered your priorities, make a commitment to yourself and act accordingly. Cross unimportant things off your agenda and delegate or ask for help.
Bonus: To actively reduce stress, it’s also worth adding self-care to your list of priorities. Use the time you gain after clearing your agenda to add self-care.
Perfectionism often goes hand in hand with unhealthy self-criticism. It is important that you learn to:
- Accept yourself and embrace yourself with all your strengths and weaknesses.
- Allow mistakes and see them as opportunities for growth instead of failure.
If you want to reduce stress permanently and sustainably, practice self-acceptance and try to see mistakes as opportunities to learn and develop.
Journaling can help you do this. Take a few minutes in the evening and reflect on your day.
- What didn’t go well today?
- How do you feel when you think about it?
- Find the good in it: what could you learn from this situation?
- What could you do differently in the future?
- How could you be more positive about it in the future?
Bonus: Take another moment to reflect on what went well. How does it make you feel? What do you learn from it? And how could you emphasise it in the future?
Mindfulness, breathing-exercises, meditation and yoga are great ways to reduce stress and improve your mental health. They help you focus on the present and calm your thoughts. This works because they directly affect the vagus nerve, which in turn activates the parasympathetic nervous system (also known as the relaxation nerve).
Even if you haven’t had any experience with it, it’s worth giving it a try. Find out how it feels and then choose the practice that best suits you.
It’s important to take time for yourself on a regular basis to relax and relieve stress. This can be an hour or as little as 10 minutes a day. The important thing is that this time is all yours. Think about what really does you good. It can be reading, drawing, going for a walk, taking a bath or just relaxing with a coffee. Tell your family that you don’t want to be disturbed right now, or your boss that you won’t work overtime. Yes, setting boundaries also prevents stress and is active self-care.
It’s important to seek support when you feel too much stress. This may mean reaching out to friends, family members, or a therapist or coach. Talk about your thoughts and feelings and actively ask for the support you need to manage the stress.
If you’re holding back on asking for help because you don’t want to be a burden to anyone, please remember: When you’re doing well, the people around you are doing well. If you get bogged down in stress, it can become a stress test for those around you, too. People are usually happy to help when asked. Therapists and coaches can also help you to look at your situation neutrally and to release underlying patterns.
Check your expectations
Perfectionism and stress often arise from unrealistic expectations of yourself and others. Check your expectations and try to see them more realistically and neutrally.
Put yourself in the position of an observer:
- What expectations do you have of yourself and others?
- What would happen if you lowered them a little?
- If you were your own best friend, what advice would you give yourself?
- How would you see yourself and this situation?
Also, it’s important that you learn to pay attention to your needs and boundaries and not constantly work overtime or chase after your family just to feel like you have everything under control.
Simple, powerful – but easy to overlook. Practicing gratitude can be a great way to relieve stress and develop a positive attitude. Every day, make yourself aware of what you’re grateful for, what you have in your life, and what you’ve accomplished so far. This automatically shifts your focus away from what is causing your stress. Gratitude diaries are a great way to integrate gratitude as a habit into your daily life.
In a nutshell
Reducing stress is important to maintain your mental health and live a happy, fulfilled life. It also helps your environment if you actively reduce stress and get rid of perfectionism. The methods in this article should give you an overview of where you could start. Of course there are many more ways. Find out what works best for you. Remember that you don’t have to be perfect, that it’s okay to make mistakes and to ask for support when you need it.
Additionally, work on your unconscious conditioning, beliefs and patterns.
Most often, hidden beliefs are what cause us to be prone to perfectionism and stress in the first place. Behind this is often the need for recognition or the feeling of not being enough. That’s why it’s always worth working on the cause.
If you would like me to support you in overcoming stress, feel free to send me an inquiry via the contact form.