Life can be full of responsibilities and obligations. Although stress can be a normal part of life, there might be times when it becomes overwhelming and starts to affect us in negative ways.
Whether you work from anyone from Spectra Electrical to your local lawn mowing service, it’s important that your schedule has some allocated time for relaxation. What this entails varies from person to person. Some may enjoy exercising, others meditation or spending times with nature or simply watching a good movie with a hot chocolate on the couch. What ever the case may be, ensure you spend some time simply being, rather than doing.
Allowing yourself time out can help you re-balance and regain your focus. Long term high levels of stress effects cortisol levels. If these continue to remain in a heightened state, sleep patterns, emotions, processing and your ability to make appropriate and rational choices can be affected.
Recognising your triggers for stress can be useful. Perhaps its school pick up times, or particular times of the day where your home life appears to have more happening simultaneously, such as dinner and bedtimes. It could be deadlines at work, where you are pressured to meet end of month deadlines, or simply feeling you have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Preparing for these times can be useful, taking measures to avoid the rush, arriving early or delegating chores so you are not solely responsible.
Don’t be afraid to say no. You can’t please everyone and if you feel anxious with tasks and commitments, either hand some over to someone else or be assertive with your boundaries. It is one thing to assist others, but another to play the rescuer and enabler. If you are continually bailing someone out of trouble, it might be time to reconsider and allow them to learn their own lessons so they cam grow. Or, it may simply be, there aren’t enough hours in the day and you’re at burning point and need to say no. Let go of obligation and don’t be apprehensive about saying no.
Take care not to overload yourself. Let go of what you can’t change or control. Focus on what you can alter or amend, and let the rest ride with the wind.
Eat healthy regular meals and stay hydrated. Water is the best thirst quencher and better for your body. Soft drinks might taste good, but the additives and sugar in them tends to do more harm than good. Do your best to ensure you have a relaxing unwind prior to sleep. Avoid the use of television and internet-based appliances for approximately two hours before bed, as well as heavy meals.
Spend time in nature, breathe in fresh air. Watch a sunset or go for a nature hike. The great outdoors is a natural healer and free!
Any form of physical exercise improves your health. High density workouts can help you release your stress in a productive way and keep you fit. Dancing, running, swimming, aerobics, anything that helps you move.
Practise meditation and mindfulness. These concepts assist in being more present in the moment, and being positive and calm. Simply listening to soft, quiet, harmonious music is a form of mediation. Practise the art of gratitude. When you’re feeling as though you’re under the pump, it might be a difficult thing to do. Start of small. Look at one thing each day that brings you joy. It can be as simple as waking up in a warm bed, to a delightful cup of coffee. Pivoting towards the brighter matters in your life, instead of the ones that bring you down or cause you worry, can help shift your mind set.
Whilst all these tips can be helpful, there might be moments when you are in a situation where you feel tense and just need the world to stop. Away from the tensions and triggers, it may be easy to start to regulate yourself again. But if you are already there, it can be difficult to regain your clarity and mojo.
Take a break. If you’re at work, you are often able to grab a coffee or water from the break room, or a quick trip to the rest room. At home, any room of the house will do. A bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, somewhere you can elude your menage for a few short moments. A change of environment, even for a brief moment can be used in simple yet beneficial ways.
Breathe. Take some slow deep breaths, breathing in from your diaphragm and out through your mouth, slowly inhaling for the count of three and exhaling for the count of three. Close your eyes, breathe, roll your shoulders, head. Gently move your back, arms and legs to physically release any tension you may have stored.
Massage your neck area or your temple or in-between your eye brows. Gentle movements to pin point and release pressure.
Talk to someone. Whether it be a co-worker on your way back from your momentary escape, to a partner or other family member at home. Perhaps call a friend and have a vent, someone you know who will sympathise and attempt to lift your spirits. In some instances, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. There is no shame in reaching out for assistance. Not all our journeys are meant to be walked alone, and professional therapists are trained to help you develop coping skills and if required address any issues that may arise from stress triggers.
Listen to some music. Slip some head phones into your ears or turn on the radio or music player and let yourself drift off with the melody.
Believe in yourself. You have survived everything life has thrown at you so far. It might be hard right now. But the sun comes out after every storm. This chapter is not your ending. The best is yet to come. You got this.