According to Wikipedia, “frenemy” is a word created by fusing the two words “friend” and “enemy,” and refers to 1) an enemy disguised as a friend, or 2) a friend who is both a friend and a rival.
This is a perfect way to look at stress in your life. Stress can be a friend. It can help motivate you and get you to accomplish way more in a day than you ever thought possible.
But it can also be your worst enemy, creating so much pressure that you feel you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. The trick is, as Sun-tzu famously said, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Keep your stress in check and watch your back to make sure it helps you instead of hurts you.
Realize You Always Have Time to Breathe
I know. Easier said than done. But it’s been a mad house around USANA lately — I mean, you do know International Convention, the biggest event of the year and the biggest event in our 20 years of existence, is August 15-18, right? — and in being ridiculously busy, I’ve realized a few things.
First, being short with people is not going to get the work done any faster, and it’ll probably just up your stress level as well as the stress of those around you.
When you’re super stressed and beyond busy, make a concerted effort to breathe deep and spend a few more seconds talking to people calmly and nicely, even if they’re dumping more work on your plate. Trust me, this will make you feel more in control of your day, and your coworkers will appreciate it!
Second, take a few minutes for yourself, too. Remember, just because you’re working through lunch doesn’t mean you’re actually getting more done. In fact, it could be that you’re actually less effective trying to work through your breaks than if you took the breaks and came back refreshed, relaxed, and refocused.
Just like a few minutes here and there won’t change whether or not you make your deadlines, taking a half hour for lunch probably won’t make or break your day, either. You may even find the downtime helps you be more creative in tackling your hardest tasks.
Make a List
Sure, it’s easy for me to tell you to do one more thing, especially when your schedule is already jam-packed. But a list can be your best friend when you’re stressed.
A big part of what makes me stressed is that I have so much to do that I’m trying desperately to remember it all at any given time, even while I’m working on something else. If you try to remember all that stuff in your head, it can get overwhelming.
By making a list, you’re allowing your brain to take a break from having to remember everything, so you can focus instead on the tasks at hand. Major plus: you get to cross stuff off the list when you’re done!
This might seem like a funny thing to remember when you’re stressed, but hear me out.
Not only does drinking lots of water help with concentration, focus, and energy (all of which will help you complete those stressful tasks), but it also gives you a reason to step away from your work once in a while. I mean, if you drink a lot of water, you’ll eventually have to use the restroom, which will give you a mini break in your otherwise hectic schedule. Double win!
How About You?
There are a lot of things you can do to help reduce your stress levels. These are just my top three. What do you do to keep stress more of a friend than a foe?