TWENTY Stress Reducers

by Jeff Justice, CSP

  1. Laugh at yourself. 
For good health, laugh at least ten times a day and five of those should be at yourself.
  2. Realize that most events in our personal and business lives will fall somewhere on a continuum between very positive and very negative. Find your balance.
  3. Do some stretching and breathing exercises every few hours.
Being trapped behind a desk or the wheel of a car all day can make the body stiff. Use deep breathing from your stomach to relax you and stretching to loosen the muscles and joints.
  4. Keep a fun folder.
 A collection of pictures, cartoons etc. that make you smile or laugh.
  5. Give yourself permission to do one thing imperfect each day.
 Thinking that you have to be perfect is one of the first signs of burn out.
  6. Make a list of things that you enjoy and do one of them each day.
 When was the last time you did something for yourself? Do something each day that improves the quality of your life.
  7. Organize a humor library at work.
A place that has funny tapes, books etc. where people can take a “humor break”.
  8. Put up a humor bulletin board.
 Remember, no company business. Only appropriate humor.
  9. Put a joke of the day on electronic mail.
 If you don’t have electronic mail, then pin a joke on the mailman. (I just wanted to see if you were paying attention.)
  10. Get the “Far Side” daily calendar on computer. 
If you can’t do that, get one for your desk or any daily reminder that brings a smile to your face.
  11. Perform a random act of kindness every day. 
A good opportunity for the “Secret Pal” club.
  12. At a toll booth, pay for the person behind you.
 Go ahead, make their day!
  13. Hold the door or elevator for someone who doesn’t expect it.
 Or in a full elevator just face everyone and smile.
  14. Wave to a cop directing traffic.
 This is self-explanatory.
  15. Next time you’re in a stressful meeting suggest each person tell their favorite, appropriate story.
 Something that lightens up the meeting not distracts from it.
  16. Do the unexpected. Be spontaneous. Now!
  17. Look for the humor no matter how stressful the situation. 
Sometimes your best stories come from your worst times.
  18. Give up the misguided belief that professionalism equals seriousness or solemnity. “Take your work seriously and yourself lightly. “
Terminal seriousness causes “hardening of the attitudes”.
  19. Exercise three times a week. You’ll feel great!
  20. Smile! Laugh! Enjoy!

Don’t take life so seriously.  So far no one’s gotten out of it alive!

If you found these tips from Jeff Justice, CSP of value and are a PMP looking to earn PMI PDUs, you might be interested in his self-paced, downloadable courses at


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