Everyone knows the horrible feeling of being stressed out, the effects of stress can cause long term damage: so let’s stop stress in its tracks, unwind during these times.
The world is busy; so learning to relax and unwind is key to a happy and fulfilling life. Just by pushing the reset button every so often, we can become more productive and happier as a consequence.
Let’s look at ways to relax, unwind and de-stress; particularly important in uncertain times or during hectic moments. Take a deep breath and let’s begin.
Remember to Breathe
When we are feeling stressed our body goes into a fight or flight stance and quite often that means we forget to breathe. If you feel a wash of anxiety or stress coming over you the first thing to do is stop and take a deep breath.
Try to adopt strong breathing habits throughout your day, even when you’re not stressed, and enjoy the feeling of calm that it promotes. This might sound simple but stress relief breathing has a technique: and here are some tips.
Let the breath flow as deep down into your belly as comfortable without forcing it. Try breathing in through your nose then out through your mouth.
Breath in gently and regularly. Without pausing or holding your breath, breathe out gently: count from 1 to 5 stop and do this again. Continue to do this for a count of 25. I promise you will feel better.
If you need a breathing buddy there are lots of breathing exercise classes online and via a podcast, and some of these incorporate relaxing music as a bonus feature.
Manage Your Time
This sounds obvious: but it is, in fact, tricky to manage your time with all the outside influences on offer today. Make a list of all the things you need to do and put them in order of priority.
Work out what tasks you need to do personally, and what can be delegated to others. Record the tasks that need to be done immediately, and then the others that can be done next week, or the next month, or when time allows.
By editing what might have started out as an overwhelming to-do list, and putting down on paper exactly what needs to be done, you can get some perspective. From there, break the to-do list down into much smaller sections and commit to ticking things off your list every day. You will be surprised how fast the list will become manageable.
Learn to Say No
This doesn’t sound easy but when you have got to the point in your life when others look to you for advice and help it’s all too easy to keep saying ‘yes’ to everything and so, in turn, you have given up everything you have worked for by spreading yourself too thinly.
Saying ‘no’ doesn’t mean you’re being selfish; it just means saying ‘yes’ to less – quality not quantity.
Take up Meditation
Follow these easy steps to give your brain a break. Before you get started, turn your phone off, find a comfortable spot, in the garden or anywhere you won’t be distracted.
Breathe in (see the steps above) let your body go heavy, feel the weight of your arms and legs, acknowledge your surroundings. Focus on your thoughts, register them but don’t dwell on them.
Consider why you need to meditate: think about the wider benefits of being in the moment. You don’t need to achieve anything, just being is enough. Allow your mind to wander, picture a path to the beach and follow that path. Drift away for a few moments and when you do don’t pull yourself back until you feel refreshed.
Meditation is not easy; so if you don’t manage it the first time, remember practice makes perfect.
Take Some Exercise
Stress causes the level of stress hormones such as adrenaline to increase and this, in turn, creates cortisol in your body. Unfortunately, cortisol in women settles around the midriff, making a bad situation worse for both self-esteem and your health.
Exercise is the answer. Whether it’s a brisk 20-minute walk in the park, or a jog around the block or a combination of both, your mind and body will thank you for some exercise. On top of that, the quality of your sleep will improve massively.
By taking in some exercise you will expose yourself to vitamin D via the sun. It’s a little known fact that vitamin D is the stress-relieving vitamin, sometimes known as the sunshine vitamin.
Whatever you decide to do, make yourself the priority. You are allowed to have some downtime. It’s not selfish, it’s necessary if we are to survive as healthy human beings.