De-Stress Your Life Challenge – Week 4: Final Tips

So here we are in Week 4 of the De-Stress Your Life Challenge. This is our last week. In today’s video I sum up what we covered over the last few weeks and introduce your final homework document. This document will walk you through a checklist of what was covered over the last few weeks to ensure you are up-to-date. It also covers 6 additional tips that you might find useful to keep you stress free. These are tips I personally use and find helpful. The document then walks you through bringing everything together from the last few weeks and putting together a personalised stress management plan for going forward.

To get your hands on this document send us a private message on Facebook with ‘homework 4’ and it will come your way. As always, let us know if you have any questions by either messaging us on Facebook or sending me a direct email to danielle@mppsych.com.au

Danielle McCarthy:  Danielle here from Mind Potential Psychology and guess what, it is the final week of the De-stress Your Life Challenge. So you’ve made it the whole way through, awesome work. Today I’m going to go over what we have covered up until now and then introduce a few additional points. All of this can be found in the last homework document that I put together for you guys. Basically, all you need to do is get your hands on that document and it’ll make sure you’ve gone through everything and you can tick it off as you go. I’ll walk you through that document now and then you guys can get it by private messaging us on Facebook the word “Homework 4”.

The first thing on the document is a a checklist saying, “Have you done your Homework 1 from Week 1?” That was where I introduced belly breathing as well as mindfulness. We did a breath awareness exercise and I also got you guys to do a mindfulness of daily activity. Have you done that? Tick. Or if not, go back and do it. The second one is “Have you done Week 2 and the Homework for Week 2?” This is where I introduced some more mindfulness. We did the Body Scan and I got you to continue with a mindfulness of daily activity and I also introduced another informal mindfulness practice, the A-N-D exercise. This exercise involved becoming aware of body sensations and what’s going on inside of you, naming them and then describing the feeling associated with them. The next item on the checklist is “Have done Week 3?” This is where I introduced thoughts and how thoughts can drive stress. This week we did a Mindfulness of Thoughts exercise. And then the final one relates to this week and this homework document and that’s, “Have you completed your stress management plan?” So today is really focused on bringing it all together and putting it into one simple document that outlines your stress management plan that you will be able to refer to going forward.

Before we jump into that, I’m going to go over a few additional tips that I’ve put together. There’s 6 of them. I’ve sat down and thought about, “What do I find really useful in my life for managing stress? What have I found that works?” And I put these into some tips for you guys. You might have something completely different and that’s okay, these are just things that I find really beneficial, on top of what we’ve covered over the last 3 weeks.

These additional tips are in the homework document for this week, so you don’t need to remember them. I’ve also popped them here for you:

  1. Organise yourself with a to-do list

Don’t try and hold all the tasks you have to do in your head. Write them down on a to-do list. Then when it is ‘to-doing’ time you can pull out your list and know what you need to focus on. When it is not ‘to-doing’ time, the list goes away and you focus on whatever requires your attention. Your mind can feel relaxed as it knows everything you need to do is written down, ready to be looked at when it is ‘to-doing’ time again. You don’t need to go over and over the tasks in your head thinking about them, getting stressed and overwhelmed by them. This is not getting the tasks done. It is just creating unnecessary worry and stress.

  1. Prioritise

Prioritise the tasks on your to-do list and focus on the most important task first.

  1. Focus on 1 task at a time

Thinking about all the other tasks on your list will not get them done. It will, however, make you feel stressed, as well as distract you from completing the task you have decided is most important to focus your attention on in that moment. This will make it take longer to complete the task, and potentially decrease your performance and productivity.

  1. Have a ‘switch-off’ time

A time when there is no more checking emails, to-do lists, etc. This might be when you walk into the house of an evening after work. Leave your phone or computer in the car if you have to. When you are with your family – be with your family!

  1. Use a prompt

Have a prompt (e.g. Breathe sticker – I have made 1 available below), dots around the house, timer on phone. Or coupling with a daily activity, even as small as putting on your watch in the morning for example.

  1. Self-care

Have good sleep hygiene, eat well, and exercise.

So that’s my six final tips. Now onto the stress management plan. Again there’s a template for this in the homework document. This is basically a breakdown over the last couple of weeks, getting you to think about what’s worked, what hasn’t, and to come up with your own personalized stress management plan. Everybody is different. Different things work differently for different people. You might have found some of my tips didn’t help at all. Other ones you might have really enjoyed and found useful. The stress management plan will get you think about – What are your stress triggers? What sets you off? What triggers that stress response? Then it’ll get you to re-think about what your warning signs are? How does stress show up in your body? How do you know when you’re becoming stressed? And then it’s going to get you to note down the things or the activities that make you feel calm and relaxed. Is it going for a walk? Is it having a relaxing bath? Is it reading a book? Whatever it is. And the final thing is what are your top tools for reducing stress? When you become stressed, what did you notice over the last few weeks that helps you reduce stress? Is it doing a mindfulness exercise, like the body scan? Is it doing an informal exercise like the A-N-D exercise? Is it belly breathing? Is it one of the other tips that I just went over? What works for you? You might just have 2 or 3 and that’s completely okay, you don’t need a list of ten things – just whatever works.

That brings us to the end. That is the final document for you guys. So make sure you jump into the private message box in Facebook and type “Homework 4” to get your hands on that document.

I hope that you found the last 4 weeks useful and that you’ve gotten something out of it. I’ve said this over and over again, but I’m more than available to answer any questions so please just private message or email us. You can email me personally at danielle@mppsych.com.au. I’m always available to answer questions so shoot me a personal email or a private message on Facebook. It’s only myself or Tracey who will be reading it. Goodbye for now.

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