3 ways to reduce stress in your life today

In trying to live a more balanced life, one of the issues is all the things that one needs to balance.


Now obviously you can’t get rid of your kids, or necessarily quit your job, or rid yourself of a demanding family member. There are still responsibilities that have to be taken care of. However, many of us are living life in default mode and could probably make some major choices today, this week, that could make a difference in your life.

Activities and responsibilities

While I don’t recommend you just dropping things if you have a responsibility for them, consider if it is something you really want to be involved in.

Do you really want to be on the PTO committee?

Do you really want to coach softball for your daughter’s team?

Does your daughter even really want to play, or is it a default decision?

Before taking on any new responsibilities, count the cost!


How much toys do your kids really need? Do they play with what they have? Try storing some and rotating, it is less to clean up.

Do your kids have way too many clothes? Are your drawers (and theirs) full of things that don’t fit right or don’t really match anything? Clear out the useless stuff.

Make stations to contain your stuff. A basket for papers and mail. A box near the door for things needed for errand running. Books go on the bookshelf. Toys in the toybox.

Are your kitchen cabinets overflowing with things you don’t even use? This makes it more difficult to whip up a quick meal. Clear through those cabinets and get rid of stuff you don’t use.

The Weekend craziness

Be selective of what things get relegated to the weekends. Try to do some of your errands or chore during the week.

Don’t feel obligated to say yes to every birthday party or other invitation you receive. Don’t lie, just say that “Due to our schedule, we won’t be able to make it.” No excuses.

Don’t spend the weekend shopping and looking at more things to buy for you, your family and your home. Be selective. Buy necessities.

Remember, the most important thing that your child or loved one wants from you is TIME, not stuff.

family walking in the woods

I am going to be writing a good bit about this topic over the next few weeks. I have lots of resources to share from many blogger friends. I have put many of these ideas into practice myself as I worked to regain balance in my life.

What are some other areas you can see in your life that could use clearing out?

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10 comments to 3 ways to reduce stress in your life today

  • This is such a great topic to cover! With a society so focused on gaining more stuff, we lose touch with appreciating free time, spending it doing something fun with our loved ones! Thank you for posting on this topic, as it is bound to help us all remember to take time to get rid (donate) unneeded items and spend more time playing.

    Thank you!!

    bernicewood Reply:

    You are very welcome Amanda!

  • Jan

    Wow! Great post and I that I needed to read today. I need to seriously work on stress management. Thanks!
    Jan recently posted..Living Well Wednesday- 4-13-11My Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Hi Jan,
    Consider what changes you can make that can make even a little difference, and there is even more help coming up in Friday’s post!

  • Hey Bernice. The biggest challenge I’ve been facing lately is feeling like my entire weekend s spent on the necessary things I couldn’t get done during the week. Grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, etc. I even start to feel overwhelmed if we have something fun planned on the weekend because I don’t know when I’ll be able to get all of my “chores” completed.

    I’ve been trying to figure out a way to lighten the weekend load, and reading this was a good reminder that by getting a couple of these things done during the week, the weekends will be a little lighter.
    Jenny @ exconsumer recently posted..What Will You Take When You LeaveMy Profile

    bernicewood Reply:

    Hey there! Even though you come home from work tired, if you can knock out one thing a couple of nights of the week, that can free up more of your weekend. Consider if you can run errands during your lunch or on your way home!
    Thanks for coming by!

  • Linda

    Really enjoyed your post. I’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed recently but in comparing myself to others see that I don’t have nearly the load that others seem to carry. And yet, I seem to feel more stressed out and overwhelmed than they do. So what’s my problem?? You’ve made me think about why — and maybe it’s because I haven’t scheduled or made FUN a priority. All the things that I have going on are “have tos”, not “fun tos.” Maybe it’s not the number of things at all, it’s just what kinds of things they are and how I’m thinking about them. Need to seek out some JOY! Thanks for the post and the thoughts!

    bernicewood Reply:

    My hubby and I got stuck in that rut before. Always doing the necessary, but never scheduling anything fun. We have tried to change that now and build some fun in each week!
    Thanks for your comment!

  • Great, simple comprehensive post! Best word I ever learned (but sometimes the hardest to say!): “NO!”. Toddlers use it, we should use it more often too.

    And double underscore your thoughts that the people in your life don’t need your stuff, they need you.

    BTW, here’s another way to combat stress and spend time with your children AND help them combat stress:


  • These are powerful questions to eliminate unnecessary stress in life. Thank you! If I may add, not taking life more seriously than it should be and harnessing the power of laughter are also one of the effective ways to reduce stress. Life’s stress weighs so heavily on all of us that we’re frowning, tensed, pursed up or anxious more than we laugh each day. A good laugh is proven to drop blood pressure levels, produces feel-good chemicals in the body and even improved medical conditions. And there’s really no need for any reason for any of us to laugh. But I guess most of us are conditioned to laugh only when there’s sufficient stimulus. So if you must, then laugh at life’s absurdities! Many blessings to you and your readers!