Dan Randall, Managing Life's Stress, River Falls, WI
Copyright 2017, All Rights Reserved
Site brought to you by: M-Vision Web Design

Dan Randall

{ Managing Life's Stress }

2016 Stress Management Tips

Winter 2016 Stress Tip

Winter can be a very stressful and a depressing time for some people. There is the stress of preparing meals for holiday get-togethers, gathering tax information, paying off the bills for all of those purchases you made during the holiday and for many, staying put inside the house because of the cold weather. For those who live in warmer climates, a winter sports lover or someone referred to as a snow-bird, cold weather stress is not an issue. But you may still have the other three which are added to your own personal stresses that may cause additional problems. Let’s look at each one of these and see what could be done to lessen the anxiety they may be causing us.

Holiday gatherings can be great fun and much easier to get through if you share the planning and preparation responsibility. Don’t try and do it all yourself. Accept help when offered. If it isn’t offered, ask for help in food preparation, decorating, food serving and clean-up. Assign tasks to family and even your guests. Getting others to participate in these activities will make it more social and fun.

Unless you already know that you are going to get a refund, preparing for taxes can get tense. The first step is not to wait for the last minute. Get going and get your paperwork done as soon as possible. If you owe money, you can then wait until the last minute to send in your check. Having all of your tax information in one place helps in getting the process started. While some people have files already set up where they put receipts, medical bills, purchases, donations, and other specific items which help streamline tax preparation; having just one box or drawer will put everything at your fingertips without having to search the house for what you need. Using on-line tax software may be quick and easy, but using a qualified and trusted tax preparation specialist will give you the best chance of making sure you get all of your legal deductions and give you piece of mind.

Paying off your purchases begins with making smart purchases. If you’re going to buy something for a family member or friend, make sure it is something they need or want and not something you think they need or want. Ask them for suggestions. You don’t have to buy the top of the line. Most of the time a $15 bottle of wine tastes just as good as a $30 bottle of wine. This is true with most anything you need to purchase. Stay within your budget and pay off the purchases with the highest interest rate first. Better yet, use only cash for purchases during the holiday and end up with no after holiday bills. I think you will find that you will be spending less when you are paying with cash than with credit cards because you can see your money disappearing in real-time.

Fall 2016 Stress Tip: Time Management

If you can manage your time, you will experience a huge drop in your stress level. Most people run through each day trying to catch up; trying to fit in too many things and not planning enough time for each activity.

Using better techniques to manage your time each day will bring you back into balance and lower your anxiety. Planning your day out is the best way to begin. If you have an 8:30 AM appointment, what do you need to do before that appointment to make sure you are there on-time and “ready” to start. We start with where is the appointment and how long (time and distance) will it take to get there. Example: distance is 37 miles during rush hour; time is estimated at 45 minutes. Add 15 minutes for unexpected delay and a few minutes to get yourself “ready” for the appointment.

So now we know we need to leave by 7:30 AM. Are there duties you need to take care of before you leave? Get kids ready for school, devotional time,take out the trash, water the plants, morning exercise, check email and text, let out the cat/dog, pick up food/beverage for meeting and other activity. Let’s plan an hour for morning pre-departure activities. We are now at 6:30 AM.

How long does it normally take for you to get ready (get showered, shave/make-up, clothes and accessory selection, etc?) We’ll say that 45 minutes will safely cover these activities. So we now know that to make an 8:30 AM appointment we need to set our alarm for 5:45 AM. So there you have it. You need to allow at least 2 hours and 45 minutes from the time you wake up until you are at and “ready” for your meeting.

Not planning enough time for all of the things that need to be done before that very first meeting, will add a huge amount of anxiety (stress) to your morning which will carry on and build up throughout your day.

This is a program for everyone weather you are retired, working or a student. Plan your day with time to do the things that you need to do and you will find yourself at that meeting, class, tee time, on-time and free from stress. Make Time Management a priority in your daily planning. Now…plan the rest of your day using Time Management.

Summer 2016 Stress Tip

So many tragedies have occurred in the first half of this year. Hundreds, if not thousands, of homes have been burned down due to wild fires. Homes, businesses, cars and personal items have been lost due to flooding in many parts of the US. Lives have been lost in these fires and flooding not to mention the terrible event which took place in the night club in Florida where 49 people were murdered by a lone gunman presumably for terrorism reasons. We've seen a record number of shootings in our major cities. The death of Prince due to an overdose of prescription drugs as well as the overdoses of many young people who have turned to street drugs as well as prescription medication to try and manage their confused and tragic lives. These events are repeatedly played out by our local and national news media each trying to one-up their rival stations for viewer ratings. They keep pushing the envelop to get our attention by the words and visual displays to show only the horrible aspect of each event. We continue to have men, women and children killed due to the wars in the middle east and the wars in our own streets.

To not be totally overwhelmed with these events we must look deeper and see what good might be coming out that are not visible at first look. Probably the most important is how people of all races and religion come together in support of each other during and after these events. How appropriate it was when during a memorial service for the 49 people who died in the night club tragedy in Orlando, a rainbow appeared. People from every corner of the world and every religion have sent messages of sympathy to the family and friends of people who were directly and indirectly affected by each and every one of these events. People coming together during times of trouble are the Hope that is needed for us to continue to move forward with our lives and try to make things better. There is beauty all around us. All we need to do is to open our eyes and look for the little things.

Spring 2016 Stress Tip

Spring has arrived and hope of sunshine and flowers prevail. Unfortunately, most of us are not able to focus on our Springtime weather because of all of the ugly things that we are hearing about in the news. Every day we are overwhelmed with news about terrorist bombings throughout the world; severe weather hitting states from the east to west coasts taking lives and property; continuing losses of our US troops not just in foreign countries but also right in our own back yards; protest over how police are taking lives and how their lives are being taken too. So much more bad, sad, ugly news every day. And to top it off, it is an election year and again we have politicians who just don’t get it. With so much negative activity happening, how are we to struggle through all of it and find some good in the world and the people around us?

Truth is, you have to look and look real hard. Good is out there and it can be found with some effort on our part. Some days a little more effort than others. Start out each day trying to find out what you can be thankful for today. Right now. I start out each day being thankful my “relatively good health”. OK, this is better than relatively bad health isn’t it? So I’m thankful. I’m thankful for my eyesight even though there are some things I wish I didn’t have to see. I’m thankful for my family. There are more things out there if you just think about it. Could be a friend, your job, a starlit night, a sunrise or sunset, some much needed rain for drought areas, the first robin you see or first flower climbing its way out of the ground. Keep looking and keep being thankful for what you do find. As you find more and more things to be thankful for, the less the negative and ugliness will get to you.

Don’t let the negative and ugliness take over your life. Take the time to look for the good things in your life and focus on them. The ugliness will always be there but doesn’t have to engulf your every moment. Let yourself open up and let some light in and you’ll find you’ll be able to share some of the light with others who may need it today.

P.S. Here is the link for you to view the photos from my recent Mission Trip to Roatan, Honduras. It may take a couple of minutes to load.