Be Prepared: My 3 step De-Stress Bucket List

I am big into memes these days because they often articulate the expression or way I would say things. I find myself just nodding and saying….yesss that’s exactly it. My favorite meme these days is the one that says “When I get a blocked nose I fully sit and think about times when my nose wasn’t blocked and how I took it for granted.” I can relate because every time I get sick, I think like this. Has it ever happened to you?

When life is good we typically don’t think of how we could have done things differently or better. When days are full of positive things and everything seems to fall into place or be in order, we hardly stop and say, I should have prepared better for this!

In a strange way, the idea of that ‘stuffy nose’ meme became the inspiration for my post. Thanks to two great Hollywood actors this idea of a bucket list came to life in a movie a few years ago. It is a list of things you may not have done before but want to do. I think nothing could be better than a list for managing stress in a way you have always wanted to but never have before.

No one has perfect days every day. You know that right? Bad days come, stress comes but until it hits, we don’t think about it.  Here are 3 ways you can take on a rough day when it comes your way.

1. Stay ready so you waste less time getting ready

We cannot control what comes our way sometimes but we can control how we react to it. We can minimize stress by watching our own words and actions. Maybe the British army was onto something with their adage, Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. That can mean at the slightest indication a rough day is on its way, keep it at a stream before it becomes an ocean. We don’t get any practice days in this life. We are living life in real-time so it is important to remember the clock only rolls forward, not back. None of us will get to relive a single day in 2015 no matter what. Prepare for each day as though that will be its only entry in your life’s history book.

2. Pay attention to times when your stress usually hits

Know the frequent occurences and make changes accordingly. Does your eye start twitching more or your hair start to fall out a little when so-and-so spends more time than usual around you? Is there a peak busy time at work that happens the same time every year that makes you think about a new career? Pinpoint if there is a predictable meltdown point that you can prepare yourself for better. If you occasionally procrastinate and feel the stress of a looming deadline at work, what about breaking up that project to do a little at a time and eliminate the major meltdown this year?

I remember at a former job we used to plan a major event every year. The project manager for a few years would get so overwhelmed with stress because their planning did not start until the last-minute. So everything was done in the 11th hour and we all felt the pressure. Each year we felt an intense level of stress. A lot of restless nights. It wasn’t fun and everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the event was over. One year someone else took the reigns and gave us a timeline with checkpoints over a couple of months instead of days. We met regularly to check in with each other, we addressed past mistakes and implemented new ideas to make the event better. We finally had no reason to be stressed because we properly prepared and the event was fabulous.That year of change, we were still so nervous it would be a disaster because we ACTUALLY had everything in place weeks earlier than in previous years. We were sure we must have overlooked something. We had free time we didn’t know what to do with. All along we had thought stress was just part of the event like it was written into the agenda. In the end we realized it did not have to be that way.

Life doesn’t have to be that way for you either. Which brings me to my final tip to de-stress your life.

3. Create calm in your life

What helps calm you down? I will share a few things that help me. First off, music is a powerful communicator. Spotify, Pandora, iTunes, Indie artists downloaded on my phone. There is a song for every way I feel. Music delivers and evokes a lot of good emotion. Some moods are an excellent excuse to press play on my favorite tracks to give me that peace of mind I need.

I am also a bit of a yogi. I began practicing a few years ago and it is one of my favorite things to do. Yoga is perfect for my introvert spirit. It is about a sense of quiet strength. There is no need to be loud. It is a reflection within…introspection. Yoga is about balance and breathing and connectedness for you. It is an incredibly peaceful and relaxing process. It is also not always easy which is part of what makes it great. It challenges you without breaking you. One day I had a vicious headache after a stressful day. I did a 15 minute yoga session in my living room. I turned on a YouTube video, put my phone on silent, uncurled my mat across the floor, physically turned my lights down to symbolically quiet the intensity of that day. My headache disappeared after that because I gave myself 15 minutes to be. I gave myself 15 minutes for just me.

It can be anything you need to create your calm. Light candles around the house or take a walk around the block or soak up some sun on your patio or spend time every week doing something creative like I do on Sunday while writing my blog.

Whatever simple thing makes you most happy and helps you de-stress to feel most at peace, do that. Do it for you. Your body and mind will be grateful.

How do you de-stress? What is your favorite way to de-stress?


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Life Untangled

I am a Chicago business professional with a passionate love for writing and living life out loud. I created this lifestyle blog to motivate and inspire aspirational individuals who want to live their best version of life without fear. My goal is to empower people all over the world to create lives of joy, success and freedom through personal and professional development. Life moves far too quickly for us not to enjoy the journey. This is to untangling life, love, liberty and the pursuit of peace and happiness. There are many lessons I have learned to embrace when it comes to life, love and work in our culturally rich world. I want to share what I have learned so it can encourage you to live your best version of life. Plus, I'm a social introvert so I am always thinking about things like how to destroy negative stereotypes around being courageous and brave enough to live life to the fullest, sometimes on your own. There is no need for you to wait on someone else in order to live YOUR life! It is exciting and thrilling. You have that level of brave in you no matter your personality type and I dare you to live it out loud! Are you ready to learn how?

4 thoughts on “Be Prepared: My 3 step De-Stress Bucket List”

  1. Destressing my life doesnt come easy at all but when I do need to do so I breathe and hold my tongue. Holding my tongue doesnt hardly work either but it is a working process, but I feel that in certain situations when I do need speak up and out that is when I dont and I later regret it. I am the type of person that wants to spare others feelings in replace of mine and that is where the stress comes from Dilaun. And the eye twitching OMG everytime my left eye twitches I think or its almost like something bad happens but like you say that is a sign so I need to prepare myself for it and make it positive no matter what, although it mainly with my husband but it is a working process

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Breathing through the stress helps so much. I think it is healthy to say what you think or how you feel but delivery is important especially if the situation is tense. You are right that It is a working progress to know what to say and how. I have had my own set of challenges articulating my thoughts and feelings but then I practice so with time it can be easier. It may seem silly to practice such a thing but it is better than holding in everything because of fear for other feelings if by holding things in, you are not sparing your own feelings. I practice with the people I love most because those are often the people who I can be vulnerable with. I can stumble over my words, spill out my stress and let them know when they make me upset or hurt my feelings. It is not always easy to say but when spoken in love, the truth does not sting as bad. Hopefully the person on the receiving end understands that and is open to what you have to say. One of my favorite mantras is “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes”. I hope you can keep working through your process Nigeria 🙂 Thanks for reading


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