4 Steps To Lower Stress

What Causes You Stress?

stressStress is not something that I do, well not anymore. Well, until these past couple of weeks.

Some moments of the greatest stress in my past had to do with money and the ending of relationships. Real panic would overcome me with the approach of a bill that was most likely going to be unpaid. A looming breakup, as I could usually tell when the end date was coming, or the real event could and did send me into major panic as well. Then there were the “regular” stress moments such as examinations, job interviews and blind dates. Granted the last, blind dates, was something that I rarely did and one of those things I will never, yes, I said never, repeat.

A couple of months ago, I wrote about ways to alleviate stress at Christmas. It was something that was relatively easy for me to write as over the years, seasonal stress was not something that I experienced refusing as I do to buy into the hype and commercialization of holidays. Valentine’s Day is another potential stressful time of the year for some, what with choosing a gift for a significant other or worrying whether you will get one or have a date for the big day of love. After the last fiasco that my now ex husband and I went through on our first Valentine’s Day six or so years ago, that is another thing that is on my list of “never to be repeated.”

So what caused me stress these last couple of weeks and how did it pass?

Economy In A Slump

oil pricesRecently, I shared with you that the continuing fall in oil prices worldwide is having the effect of many people losing their jobs here in Alberta. This is a current reality in a few oil-producing provinces in Canada. Most of those laid off were directly employed in the oil fields/sands, on oil rigs and with big oil companies. All categories of workers are out of their well, very well, paying jobs. The pressure on social services and food banks is high. Last Sunday, the Prime Minister of Canada took part in face-to-face “question time” with ordinary Canadians and one of them was a now unemployed oil worker. His stress about the situation was real and quite frankly the Prime Minister’s response did very little to reassure him.

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The rising numbers of unemployed is not limited to oil workers. The effect of the below $100, even $50 a barrel oil is seeping into other sectors of the economy. One of them is not-for-profits. A couple of weeks ago, one of my part-time team members told me that her full-time employer was closing its doors to the senior citizens it serves as funding from the oil companies has dried up for that not-for-profit. My own day job is being eliminated as another example of non-oil enterprises affected by the downturn in the economy.

The Stress Of Change And How To Reduce It

While the looming unemployment gave me a moment of pause, stress was not my immediate response. However, when added to my decision just the week before to move into a new home, taking advantage of the incentives offered as not many can afford high mortgages or rental rates at this time, the expenses started piling up. Still not overwhelmed, I continued with my plans, despite not having a new job lined up. My thought process was “I need to move as my living arrangement was driving me crazy and I needed peace.”

Switching priorities, rescheduling payments and adjusting my budget taking into account the possibility that come March I might not be working, at least not full-time, the move went ahead. Looking around my new place, I know that this is home for a while and that means a lot to me and a real source of peace. Love change as much as I do, this move I hope will be the last for a long while.

job searchWith my boxes and suitcases still unpacked, I hit the road running, attending one interview everyday over the past ten days. That was when my stress meter started going up. It was a lot to handle. The potential of not finding a full-time job to cover my expenses and needs was, surprisingly, the trigger. I have become accustomed to a steady schedule, working Mondays to Fridays, but as the flooding of the job market continues, it struck me that that might be an adjustment needed, a preference that I have to consider letting go. Stress!

After three almost sleepless nights in a nicely decorated new home, on the verge of being totally overwhelmed, this is what I did:

  1. Accepted what is.
  2. Adapted: I pulled up my calendar on my phone and created a new schedule that would allow me to work for the required amount of hours and still have enough time to write and spend time with my granddaughter.
  3. Adjusted my budget, not to cut necessarily but to see how best, wisely and creatively to use my earnings. For example, one possible job (second interview is this week) would be downtown and parking is expensive there. So I checked other ways of getting to work, if that job is offered to me, including park and ride the train or carpooling.
  4. Allow. I am somewhat of a control freak and sometimes forget that Life has shown me over and over that I am not in control of it. So, this fourth step of allowing is critical to reducing stress. It has always worked for me once I remove myself out-of-the-way. At 1:30 this morning that is exactly what I did, rolling over in bed and turned on a Bob Proctor affirmation video and was lulled to sleep. When I awoke, The Universe had done what it does best – took care of one of my major stressors. As I was writing this, my phone rang and an offer was made to me for a part-time managerial position!
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Four steps and, while my new (and preferred) full-time job is not yet confirmed that should be happening this week or next as a couple of second interviews are scheduled, my equilibrium returned. Will these work for you? I make no guarantees but why not give it a try? Acceptance, adapting, adjusting and allowing – in that order – can be summed up in one word: Surrendering. That was a word that challenged me long time ago but once your small, limited, fear-filled thinking is out-of-the-way, “miracles” do happen.

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Have a great week!

Claudette P. Esterine
Claudette

 

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44 thoughts on “4 Steps To Lower Stress

  1. Life does have a way of showing us we’re not in control, doesn’t it? Been there, lived that one. πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      It most certainly does, Rosey! πŸ™‚

  2. For me my biggest problem is learning to adjust. Budgeting is hard but I know that is something I need to be taking more seriously if I want to achieve some of my plans this year.

    1. Ms Claudette

      As you have identified what challenges you, now to take it up head on and make the changes that you need to. All the best with that, Marielle. πŸ™‚

  3. Mine is usually about money for paying our bills, but I love your list.
    i try to breathe out and pray.
    God has been good.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I think money is a big one for most of us! πŸ™ And I too have to say that Source has been very good indeed for me as well. Namaste

  4. dltolley

    It’s worry, not work that’s the killer. Probably not always true, but my Grandma use to say this.) I stress about E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Life. Kids. Jobs. Grandkids. Schools. Health. Duties. Ugh. Letting go is the most difficult thing in the world for me. This post is wonderful. And spot on. Now, applying it . . .

    1. Ms Claudette

      Therein lies the rub, right Diane? The application. πŸ™‚ Do, take care of yourself.

  5. Well I am glad you figured it out madam because I thought I would have to get on a plane. I learnt long ago that worrying gets us nowhere fast. My faith has allowed me to let go off things quickly but it took me a little while to figure this out. You have the right prescription there so #keepitmoving

    1. Ms Claudette

      Moving, love, moving! LOL! Thanks for the support. πŸ™‚

        1. Ms Claudette

          πŸ™‚

  6. top5life

    Stress has become such an inseparable part o four lives. I hope these tips really help to combat stress.

    1. Ms Claudette

      They have helped me so far. πŸ™‚

  7. These are great and very necessary tips for the modern life. Nowadays everybody is stressed out

    1. Ms Claudette

      Tell me about it! If it ain’t one thing, it’s another, right Amy? πŸ™‚

  8. All of us deal with stress. Mine has also something to do with money most of the time. The key is knowing how to manage it. Good luck.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Why is money such a bother?! LOL. Thanks very much. πŸ™‚

  9. These are great tips. I hope things get better.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you and things are already getting better. πŸ™‚

  10. Good luck on getting just the right job! Stress is unavoidable in life, but we can definitely find ways to manage and minimize it.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you Liz! And you are absolutely correct. πŸ™‚

  11. I really love all your posts. I’m hoping all things will get better.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Thank you so much and i am sure they will…the signs are already there.

  12. Life is full of stressful moments. I think it’s how we handle the stress makes all the difference.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Amen to that Erlene! πŸ™‚

  13. Hopefully stress is a short time moment in time. Problems arise when it becomes a long term permanent situaion.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Isn’t that the truth Beth! πŸ™‚

  14. I think life puts us in situations when stress is the only option. The way we handle the stress in the middle of a crisis says a lot about who we are as individuals.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Like I said to someone else, I don’t think life does it to us, but we do. However, you are right that we do learn who and Whose we are depending on how we handle the stress. πŸ™‚

  15. These are some good tips. I like the steps you took to handle the situation. It is always good to have a plan so you know what to expect.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I am a hardcore planner! LOL. Always have a plan how to bounce back. πŸ™‚

  16. Elizabeth O.

    It’s never okay to deal with stress, but life gives us a lot of it! Lol. Whenever I am stressed I always take a break. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short break, I just want to give myself time to breathe, and after that I feel so much better and start thinking of ways to deal with it.

    1. Ms Claudette

      I would be more inclined to say that we cause ourselves the stress rather than Life giving it to us. However we say it though, you are right, we need to stop and breathe…then make a plan. Thanks for that Elizabeth. πŸ™‚

  17. This is something I’m good at! I manage to get stressed about silly little things but when something big happens like losing a job or a home I don’t tend to panic. I think of a plan and take it as it is πŸ™‚

    1. Ms Claudette

      Only and best way to go, right Shaylee? πŸ™‚

  18. I hope things get better for you soon, you are an inspiration to many and so brave xxx I need to alleviate stress.

  19. Accept
    Adjust
    Adapt
    Allow

    Such simple words, such hard actions or thoughts to put into action. Yet life can be as simple as we make it…by ALLOWING more. Glad you allowed and let the Lord take control and take you out of the stress! Stress is a big one for many some dont even know they are suffering from it! Thanks for sharing such awesome lessons Claudette!

  20. i have not consciously tried step #4 allow before but i can see the value that it would add to lowering stress. i don’t get stressed out often but this has helped me to see how i can manage/lower my stress in the future. i’m so glad that you went on all of the interviews and that have already gotten an offer!

  21. Stress is not good for one. Changing things around is a good thing.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Indeed it is Tara! πŸ™‚

  22. Robin Rue

    Glad you were able to find a way to make it work! Losing sleep over something is no fun.

    1. Ms Claudette

      Girl, I am telling you! All things are working together for good though. Thanks so much Robin! πŸ™‚

    2. Ms Claudette

      No, it isn’t funny at all! Thanks Robin! πŸ™‚

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