We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether it’s work or school deadlines fast approaching, responsibilities toward the family, trying to fit in time for exercise or hassling over daily stressors like traffic, it can get tough to set aside some much needed “me time”.
Finding ways to deal with your stress is not only important for your mental health, but it can have a toll on your physical health too. This new year, why not make the resolution to try to lead a more relaxed lifestyle? Here are some simple tips you can incorporate in your day to day activities.
Avoid caffeine, nicotine or alcohol
Aside from the damage these substances cause to your physical health, they also take their toll on your stress levels. Yes a cigarette after a stressful situation may seem to calm you down, but in reality, don’t you just end up feeling agitated and pressured again shortly?
These are all substances of an addictive nature – people who don’t get their coffee fix in the morning can be very irritable! Why not try to wean off these harmful substances and substitute a healthier alternative like herbal teas?
Engage in physical activities
Working out is not only great for getting in shape – but it also leaves you feeling fantastic, like you can conquer any challenge! This is caused by the release of endorphins – a hormone that leaves you feeling pumped and charged and ready to take on the world. Clear some time in your daily schedule to get that short cardio boost and you’ll be feeling zen in no time.
Talk it out
It may sound like a cliché – but the best way to tackle your problems is to talk about them. Find a good friend, go for a coffee (or a herbal tea!) somewhere and vent your frustrations. Sometimes getting a third party involved with your problems will shed a new perspective on it – you’ll see solutions you never saw before.
Chances are, your friend will also help you break your big, insurmountable problems into smaller, easier to tackle challenges. Plus, let’s face it – who doesn’t like a long winded rant about what a tyrant their boss is?
Get more sleep
One of the reasons you’re feeling stressed out could be attributed to a lack of decent rest. How many times have you thought “I’ll just stay up for one more hour to get this task done”? That is completely the wrong approach to take.
It’s a bit of a vicious cycle – you get stressed because you don’t sleep enough, but sometimes, it’s impossible to get to sleep because of your stress. It’s hard to do, but try shutting your mind off before you go to sleep. Set aside some time to reflect on the day – what went well, what did not go so well, how can you do better – but then set aside as much time to relax and meditate.
Learn to say no
Many people end up feeling stressed because they bite off more than they can chew. They try to promise the world to everyone, and end up spread too thin, only to end up feeling stressed because they’re not doing things to the best of their ability.
It is okay to admit you are human and you are limited. It is okay to say “no” or “not right now” – chances are people will appreciate you more I you get to a task and give it your 100% in two days than if you tried to do it now and only managed to give 15%.
No matter what the cause of your stress, it is important that you find a way to manage it well. This year, do right by yourself. Identify your stressors and cut them out – or at the very least find ways to cope with the stress before it gets too much.