Have a Stress Action Plan
- Friday, June 20, 2003
Stress is inevitable during every time in our lives. When we are in dating mode, however, it can overwhelm us. Have a specific action plan for keeping it to a minimum. Keep a list of possible stress reducers to pull out as you need them.
Here are nine great suggestions for relieving stress and for enjoying your time as a single with your eyes on finding that special someone:
1. Look for humor and don't take yourself too seriously.
At times you will either laugh or cry. Choose to laugh. Twenty-five years from now, you won't remember the little hitches and irritations, and you will laugh at the larger ones.
2. Accept your dates as people.
No one is perfect-not you or your dates! When under stress, it's easy to become irritated with someone or turn a cold shoulder to even the brightest prospect. So be willing to accept the little things and see the difference between lovable, idiosyncratic behaviors and true deal-breakers.
3. Keep a journal.
Journaling is a great way to manage and reduce stress. If you do find someone special, a journal will be a great memento of that time when you were still learning about him or her. And if you get married, it will be fun to read back through the milestones of your engagement. Be sure to record funny happenings as well.
4. Don't take everything friends and relatives say at face value.
During times of tension, empathize and give others the benefit of the doubt. Others are also experiencing stress in their lives.
5. Cultivate a positive attitude toward the friends and relatives of those you date.
Get to know them. You'll minimize misunderstandings when you seek to build positive relationships. You'll grow to know your dates more in the eyes of the people who know them best. And in the future, if things go well, you'll be glad to have them as your friends, too.
6. Get enough sleep and exercise.
Exercising not only reduces stress, but can start a positive lifelong habit! It makes you feel good about yourself both physically and mentally and puts your positive "dating face" on. Cheating on our sleep time has become, for many, a way of life. You can't deprive yourself of sleep for 5 days of the week and catch up on the weekend. Make getting a good night's sleep a priority every night.
7. Eat a well-balanced diet.
Starving yourself to drop ten pounds may make you more moody and irritable, hindering your enjoyment of dating.
8. Keep perspective.
Remember, whatever challenges you must face during this time of dating, the lessons you learn about yourself alone are worth them all.
9. Once you find someone special, keep dating them!
Knowing you will have time alone with someone you are getting to know will help you handle your daily stresses.
Too often you probably see couples, especially engaged couples, stop the habit of regular dates. They forget the importance of dinner, dancing, movies-even a simple cup of coffee together.
Dating is a healthy habit of a growing relationship, and even of a rich marriage, so don't slack off after your relationship begins!
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