Harpreet Chana's Top 3 Tips to Help Combat Stress
Do a brain dump.
We wouldn't dream of working in a cluttered workspace because of the effect it has on our concentration, yet we work with a cluttered mind all the time!
A brain dump can help with decluttering your mind. So, I want you to take a piece of paper and jot down everything that is on your mind at the moment. Get it all out! As a list or a mind map, whatever works best for you.
Next, I want you to take a big black marker and cross through anything that you are worried about that is outside of your control. You see, we spend so much time worrying about things that we cannot hope to change or control. And these are the things that we need to let go as we waste so much time and energy on them. So, this exercise is great for that. As you strike through each item, say to yourself I am choosing to let [insert your item here] go and really mean it.
Organise your to-do list
Okay so, look at what you now have left on your list. These should only be the things that you can actually change and control. Some of these will be a priority and some of them won't. Go through each item that is left on your page and put a ‘U' next to it if it is urgent and an ‘I' next to it if it is important. Some items will have both a U and I and some will have nothing.
Prioritise these items in this way:
- A actions - any items that have both letters should be ACTIONED immediately. These are your A items and the things that should be on your to-do list for today.
- B actions - for those things that have an I but don't have a U, these need to be pushed BACK and scheduled into your calendar to be done at a later date. These are your B items.
- C actions - for those items that have only a U but no I, you need to CHOOSE whether you do them as these are time-wasting tasks. Ask yourself, do I really need to be doing these? Can I delegate them to somebody else? Because, if they are not important to you, chances are you shouldn't be doing it in the first place! These are your C items
- D actions - And then finally, if you have things that have neither letter, these are the items that you need to DROP. You really shouldn't be doing these! These are your D items.
Organising your to-do list in this way can be really helpful in minimising stress because you aren't forgetting anything and are only focusing on those activities that you really need to do. You can access a free 'Prioritise Your To-Do List Planner' to help you do this on a daily basis here.
Plan in regular self-care
Self-care is a buzzword that we are all hearing so much at the moment! We all think we know what self-care is but actually in reality, many of us don't.
Self-care isn't just looking after yourself and it definitely isn't selfish. Self-care is making the time and space to do an activity that you absolutely love to do and which helps you to flourish and not just function.
There are things we do every day that we need to do in order to just function e.g. eat well, exercise, sleep etc but self-care helps us to be at our best and really thrive. And it's important in our roles inpatient care that we look after ourselves first so that we can help others. So, think of an activity that you love to do, which you might not have done for some time or tell yourself you don't have time to do and schedule it into your calendar. Make it a non-negotiable date with yourself and use that time to be really present in that activity and give it your full attention. I promise you, it will be worth it!
Get to know Harpreet Chana
Harpreet is a qualified pharmacist with 20 years experience of working in hospital, community, primary care and national policy. She is also a certified professional coach and founded the Mental Wealth Academy in 2019, which helps pharmacy professionals and responsible organisations to strengthen their mental health by investing in their ‘mental wealth'. She runs regular free stress workshops for pharmacists and you can book a place on the next one here.