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Your Guide to Stress Management

The founder of Women for One shares (non-basic) tips on how to productively deal with stress

To Kelly McNelis, founder of online community Women For One and relatable human being, stress is unavoidable.

“I don’t think stress ever goes away. For men, too, but it’s especially the case for women,” she explains. “I think women are actually the most stressed out about the pressures society places on us our whole lives—culturally, in our families and in just how we are as nurturers, caretakers and communicators. I think we internalize pressure to be perfect, to take care of everyone and put everyone else in front of ourselves.” 

For McNelis, then, the key to stress management doesn’t lie in handfuls of notepads and to-do lists (although they’re still helpful), but instead in mindfully addressing your stress. “Listen, I love [typical things] like making lists and crossing things off,” she says. “But those things only help you manage stress. So how about we dive into our mess a little bit and take a look at what’s going on in our lives and surrender to it?” 

So to tackle your stress head-on (instead of simply learning to live with it), McNelis gave us some buzzwords to remember in the most trying of times.

Curiosity

Get curious about your stress and ask yourself the right questions. Be open instead of making assumptions about what you know and feel.

Kelly McNelis, founder of Women For One, Photo Courtesy of Women for One

Clarity

Gain clarity from those questions on how you want to move forward in your life by trusting your gut. Give yourself some space to find out what works best for you, and use your gut to take you there. 

Choice 

A lot of us get stuck wondering “should I do this?” Make a choice and know your own power. A lot of us feel caught up in whatever we have to get done, so taking these baby steps is really important.

Consistency 

If you can commit and set intentions towards what matters you can build towards consistent habits, like exercising, practicing your breath and setting time aside for “me” time.

Confidence 

Confidence and celebration are similar. As you can build that muscle of consistency, you can gain the confidence to reapply these five C’s in anything you want to do. 

Take a Power Pause

Take a moment to check in with your body on one day, take a moment to check in with your breath on another day, just don’t do it all at once or else you’ll be stressed about your stress. 

Main image credit: Pinterest.com

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