56 Stress Busters

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

I cleaned my office this week and found a creased, bone-colored worksheet my dad gave me in 2012. It was hilariously titled “56 Stress Busters.” Before setting it aside, I skimmed the first ten points, and to my surprise, found tidbits of wisdom. I combed through all fifty-six and highlighted the practices I plan on implementing.

Weirdly, given the sheer stress of the past two weeks (and the last year in general), I felt like this worksheet found me. *laughs to keep from crying*

I typed out the list below and retitled it:
“56 Things That Hopefully Help With Stress n’ Shit.”

If, like me, this list helps you feel a little less stressed, share with friends and leave a comment on which ones you need just a lil’ bit more of in your life right now.


56 Things That Hopefully Help With Stress n’ Shit

  1. Get up 15 minutes earlier to avoid rushing about.

  2. Eat a good breakfast.

  3. Write things down. Trying to remember not to forget is stressful.

  4. Keep a duplicate car key in your wallet: bury a duplicate house key in your yard.

  5. Keep an extra $10 and a blank check hidden in your wallet.

  6. Practice preventative maintenance on your car, appliances, teeth, body, and relationships.

  7. Slow down.

  8. Eat well 85 percent of the time.

  9. Get at least 30 minutes of brisk exercise a day—more if you’re feeling stressed.

  10. Refer to a good self-care book so you can treat minor health problems at home.

  11. Don’t procrastinate. “Whatever you want to do tomorrow, do today. Whatever you want to do today, do now.”

  12. Schedule a realistic day with “rest” periods.

  13. Seek balance in all things.

  14. Save credit cards for major planned purchases.

  15. Make friends with non-worriers.

  16. Simplify.

  17. Simplify some more.

  18. Every day, find personal time for solitude/meditation/prayer.

  19. Learn to say “no.”

  20. Carry reading material for waiting in line.

  21. Remind yourself that Babe Ruth struck out 1,300 times.

  22. Count your blessings.

  23. Do nothing that, after being done, leads you to tell a lie.

  24. “Put brain in gear before opening mouth.”

  25. Do “unpleasant” tasks early in the day.

  26. Do one thing at a time.

  27. Donate your extra stuff to charity; don’t accumulate more.

  28. Get organized.

  29. Volunteer.

  30. Write your problems and worries down in a daily journal. 

  31. “Be kind to unkind people; they need it the most.”

  32. Remember that everyone you see is carrying some kind of heavy burden. 

  33. Get enough rest.

  34. Add an ounce of love to everything you do.

  35. Breathe from your abdomen, not your chest.

  36. “Be desireless.”

  37. If something’s out of your control, stop worrying about it.

  38. Live in the present.

  39. Every day, do at least one thing you really enjoy.

  40. Unplug the TV, phone, pager, computer, fax...if just for a while.

  41. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

  42. Laugh more.

  43. Make promises sparingly and keep them faithfully.

  44. Remember that the best things in life aren’t things.

  45. Buy classic, comfortable, easy-to-care-for clothes and shoes. 

  46. Take a relaxing shower or bath.

  47. Focus on loving rather than being loved.

  48. Delegate.

  49. Remember that it’s never too late to have a happy childhood.

  50. Restrict/eliminate caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, and similar stuff.

  51. Be good; do good.

  52. Listen more; talk less.

  53. Remember that every problem has a gift in its hands.

  54. Be humble.

  55. Do your best; leave the rest.

  56. Remember that “not everyone can do great things, but we can all do small things with great love.”