We have had an unusually frigid, snowy month. Many days have been below zero with wind chill temperatures between 30 to 50 degrees below zero. Schools have closed 4 days because of the extreme cold.
Can weather increase stress levels? Yes, it certainly can. Actually any extremes in weather that lasts longer than several days creates a sense of tension, frustration, and higher levels of stress. Of course weather is not the only thing that increases stress.
What are other contributors to high stress levels?
It is known that high unemployment rates causes difficulties for many individuals and families. Fortunately, there is some slow improvement in this area during the last year.
Another common contributing factor to the increase in people’s perception of stress is the information overload that appears to be almost everywhere. During the day, you may find yourself struggling to balance and juggle several things at the same time. Juggling requires a lot of effort and energy to keep things going.
The good news is there is a solution to living a life filled with stress even when what is creating the stress is out of our control – like the weather.
When you find yourself feeling stressed, it is time to prioritize. For some people, prioritizing is a lost skill. So many things are going on in their lives it is almost automatic to respond to them in the order in which they happen. Reading email is an example. Unless you have set up a system for sorting your email, you are likely to read through the list in a top down order.
It does not have to be this way. Prioritizing can bring order and confidence to your life. Let’s look at what actually happens when you prioritize. You need to look at:
- Your values.
- Choices you have made in the past.
- What is important to you?
- Why it is important to you.
Having a plan for your day will help you focus and move through your day more confidently. Imagine yourself being flooded with things to do. Yet, you calmly and confidently make choices about completing the things that are urgent and important. You are focused on what you are doing and efficiently moving through the items one by one.Your energy level stays steady as you complete the necessary items for the day and have time for some relaxing before the day ends.
To do this, think about your values or what is important to you. Choose a time when you are feeling alert to begin practicing prioritizing. Look for my next blog post for more tips on how to prioritize.
Until next time,