This Wednesday: Nine extremely simple and easy tips to take stress out of your day.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: Nine extremely simple and easy tips to take a lot of stress out of your day.

When I was little, I was always puzzled by the maxim, “A stitch in time saves nine.” I couldn’t figure out what that meant. Finally, light dawned: a single stitch, made in good time, saves the trouble of making nine stitches later. In other words, a little effort now saves a lot of effort later.

That notion underlies several of the tips below. The other notion: when you have a reasonable amount of energy, life feels a lot less stressful.

1. Keep some cash in the house.
2. Never let your car’s gas level fall into the “empty” zone.
3. Have Advil (or whatever) at hand at all times.
4. Put your keys away in the same place every day.
5. Turn out the light as soon as you’re sleepy.
6. Walk around the block.
7. Take ten minutes before bed to tidy up.
8. If you have to pack a lunch for anyone, get it ready the night before.
9. Have at least one good friend who lives in the neighborhood.

Samuel Johnson pointed out that “To live in perpetual want of little things is a state, not indeed of torture, but of constant vexation.” By making the effort to stay on top of the little things, you can keep the vexation to a minimum.

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31 thoughts on “This Wednesday: Nine extremely simple and easy tips to take stress out of your day.”

  1. Awesome post, Gretchen! My favorite part:
    “…a single stitch, made in good time, saves the trouble of making nine stitches later. In other words, a little effort now saves a lot of effort later.”

  2. Hi, I just found your blog through beliefnet and I’m “happy” I did. I’m trying to find more happiness myself and I’ve recently started a blog: Acquiring Abundance where I’m sort of tracking my progress. Would you like to exchange links? Thank you for your helpful tips.

  3. Great list! I would add — know what’s for dinner by for the next evening before bed or before you leave the house in the morning. My freezer is our famiy hero!
    Blessings,
    Cathy

  4. Another possible list addition is: If possible have an idea of what to wear the next day before going to bed.
    I give the list 2 thumbs up, Gretchen! Keep the brain food coming!

  5. I can add one, which should be obvious from the maxim that inspired this post: take a moment to mend clothes before the problem gets too big. I’m forever saying, “I’ll fix that hem later,” and then the whole thing falls apart.

  6. David — I swear, that tip saves me a half an hour in the morning. If I skip laying out my clothes the night before, I am in trou-ble.

  7. It’s true that the simple things make the bigger picture easier. Having said that, it seems that keeping things simple is a larger task than one can initially imagine… until it gets simpler.

  8. I know I own too much. You know what really makes it a cinch to let go of it? Finding someone who needs it more than I do. I am simply not the person who collected all that stuff any more. Look how happy I feel when I “place” my things back out into the community. Some people are so fortunate – they can blanket-sweep their stuff clear in a day or two, but I am far more deliberate. Yes, it is slower cleaning it out this way, but what a joy, knowing someone is using it and it is no longer just sitting and sitting doing no one any good. I cleared out ten computer systems by contacting a woman in a social service organization locally who sent out e-mails to all the other organizations that that organization serves. My computer lighted up like a Christmas tree, and I felt like Santa, getting all that equipment ready to go. The women appeared in a station wagon and twenty minutes later, all of it had gone to new homes. Talk about forward momentum! My point in sharing this is: someone can often help you “place” your things back out into the community for you. Let people help you clear your clutter. There is an ethical imperative, or moral rightness in passing what you are through with to others. Thank you for reading my suggestions. – Chris! (Age 64)

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