Tuesday, 22 January 2019


Continuing our journey through Dr Chaterjee’s book (‘The Stress Solution’) we are moving to the section on time.

He talks about how little time we often feel we have and how a bit of organisation could well help.  We absolutely know that those of you who schedule in gym time make it in much more often than those who will ‘pop in if they can’.  Dr Chaterjee also talks about the joy of ticking something off our list and he even goes so far as to consider a breakdown of your day into tasks.  I thought this was crazy until I realised that that is what I do – I just don’t write it down.  If I were to tell you how my daily routine panned out you would think I was crazy – but it works for me.  I get up early, unpack the dishwasher, sort out the washing, feed the birds -  you get the idea?!

Dr Chaterjee suggests that to reduce your stress there are three things to schedule into your day:

1. Something that brings you joy.  You know what this might be; it could be a piece of music, 10 minutes with the newspaper, a chapter of your book, maybe a few minutes with your knitting or a hobby of some sort.  Whatever it is, schedule it in, make time for it – it really matters.

2. Something that trains you ability to delay gratification.  That is something that takes time to master.  So not the instant gratification that comes from alcohol or food snacks.  Rather something such as learning a language or a musical instrument.  It might be as simple as a crossword or a jigsaw, as long as it is something that takes time and patience.  The sense of achievement will be well worth waiting for.

3. Something that involves movement or exercise.  Everyday make sure you move.  Do your 10,000 steps, go for that run, lift some weights.  But it needs to be scheduled in.  I was going to try to fit in 10 minutes of yoga today.  But I didn’t – it wasn’t on the list and it didn’t get done.

Try it and remember, these are not luxury items, these are essentials.  If we are to avoid getting stressed out and anxious we need to put in some time to look after ourselves.  So next time you write that ‘to do’ list – add in something that nourishes you. 

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