From Chicken Soup for the Soul at Work


Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.

Matthew 6:34

As a college freshman at Valparaiso University, facing all the uncertainties of future academic and work life, I had the opportunity to meet with the president emeritus and chancellor. Audiences were rare. Sitting among a small group of nervous peers, we anxiously awaited the arrival of a man revered throughout the school, let alone the country and abroad, for his excellence in achievement and esteemed wisdom.

Dr. O. P. Kretzman arrived in a wheelchair, aging, with failing sight. You could have heard a pin drop. All too soon, the attention turned to us as he asked for questions from the group. Silence. I knew inside what an opportunity this was, so despite my fear, I got up the courage to break the ice and ask my question.

“What advice would you give new freshman as we face all the choices and uncertainties ahead of us?” His reply was simple and strong, “Take one bite out of the apple at a time.” No more, no less. A perfect stressbuster for the moment and for all the moments of my life to come.

Now that I’ve been in the working world for 20 years, I’ve added a few more stressbusters to maintain a healthy life. Help yourself!

1. Change your priorities

2. Take stretch breaks

3. Step back and observe

4. Review your purpose

5. Get a massage

6. Leave five minutes earlier

7. See a comedy

8. Let go and let God!

9. Use affirmations

10. Organize your space

11. Share your feelings

12. Smell some flowers

13. Ask for acknowledgment

14. Listen to your intuition

15. Help someone else

16. Rub your feet and hands

17. Visualize positive outcomes

18. Take care of your health

19. Don’t judge; bless

20. Work in the garden

21. Create a budget

22. Be empathetic, not overly sensitive

23. Be still and meditate

24. Use time-saving technology

25. Carpool and enjoy the ride

26. Set aside time for planning

27. Count your blessings

28. Don’t forget, write it down

29. Simplify, simplify, simplify

30. Talk it out with coworkers

31. Eliminate destructive self-talk

32. Schedule play time

33. Change your environment

34. Go with your natural rhythms

35. Find an easy place to give your gifts

36. Fully express yourself

37. View problems as opportunities

38. Let go of “what ifs”

39. Be clear what’s expected of you

40. Ask the experts

41. Do your best and then stop

42. Trust Divine timing and order

43. Develop patience

44. Breathe deeply

45. Take a walk

46. Complete things

47. Take a nap

48. Sing a tune

49. Take a warm bath

50. Talk out your worries

51. Delegate

52. Talk with your mom or dad

53. Say no at times

54. Shift deadlines

55. Follow your passion

56. Tell a joke

57. Play out your fears

58. Drink lots of good water

59. Create a support sytem

60. Divide up big projects

61. Seek advice

62. Be gentle with yourself

63. Don’t “enable” others

64. Pray for openings

65. Tell the truth

66. Get more restful sleep

67. Forgive and move on

68. Prepare food ahead

69. Fix it or get a new one

70. Be prepared to wait

71. Don’t always be right

72. Focus on the moment

73. Take a lunch break

74. Read a book

75. Shift your attitude

76. Laugh each day

77. Develop self-esteem

78. Take vitamin supplements

79. Stop the “shoulds”

80. Avoid excess

81. Plan a special outing

82. See through illusions

83. Relax your muscles

84. Slow down and notice

85. Nurture good friends

86. Be in nature

87. Listen to music

88. Limit caffeine and sugar

89. Go on a fast or cleanse

90. Be spontaneous

91. Love your partner

92. Get some fresh air

93. Be pampered

94. Volunteer

95. Join help networks

96. Maintain good posture

97. Respect your limits

98. Exercise routinely

99. Go dancing

100. Sigh occasionally

101. Do yoga

102. Have a good cry

103. Make time for hobbies

104. Limit work time

105. Compromise/cooperate

106. Don’t procrastinate

107. Unplug your phone/TV

108. Relax your standards

109. Journal your thoughts

110. Take a vacation

111. Organize your desk

112. Develop flexibility

113. Allow for imperfections

114. Don’t over schedule

115. Expose your secrets

116. Build a strong body

117. Nurture your faith

118. Open a savings account

119. Take in the sun

120. Love and be loved

121. Get the facts

122. Work as a team

123. Smile—open your heart

124. Validate yourself

125. Daydream

126. Know God loves you!

Tim Clauss

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