We all lead busy and complicated lives and for some, this can cause overbearing amounts of stress. This in turn can have a serious impact on our health and general day to day life, so if you feel like you’re on burn-out, check out these tips to help lower those stress levels…
1. Learn to manage your time more effectively
We waste a lot of time doing unimportant tasks, especially when stressed, so prioritise your day and do the important jobs first. The unimportant ones can wait – often they will disappear completely leaving you time to do other things. Don’t put off the unpleasant tasks – avoidance causes a great deal of stress. Give unpleasant tasks a high priority and just get them out of the way first.
2. Adopt a healthy lifestyle
If we eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly and ensure we get enough sleep, our body is better able to cope with stress should it occur. Engaging in some form of physical activity may help you by working off the physical changes that occur within your body due to stress. Relaxation also helps your body return to its normal healthy state – try some yoga or meditation or if that’s not your bag, a nice walk in the fresh air can really help lower those stress levels.
3. Know your limitations
We can cause ourselves a great deal of stress because we don’t want to let people down, so we end burning the candle at both ends and doing more than we can cope with. Learn to delegate effectively and be assertive so that you can say ‘no’ without upsetting or offending.
4. Find out what causes you stress
Take time to discover what is worrying you and try to change your thoughts and behaviour to reduce it. A stress assessment can help you fully understand the causes, the implications to your health and how to manage and make necessary changes.
5. Avoid unnecessary conflict
Is a big argument really worth the stress? Sometimes they are, but mostly conflict is unnecessary and just causes a pile load of stress. Instead, swallow that pride and see if you can find a resolution that works for both parties – compromise is a great stress buster!
6. Accept the things you cannot change
Changing a difficult situation is not always possible. If this proves to be the case, recognise and accept things as they are and concentrate on what you do have control over.
7. Take time out to relax and recharge your batteries
You’ll perform more effectively during work if you regularly take a short 10/15 minute break. Alongside this, at least one annual break of at least 10-14 continuous days is recommended. If you don’t relax, your brain cannot take the amount of information you’re piling in there and you just can’t work to your full ability. Taking a break isn’t being a wimp, it’s self care and is super important.
8. Find time to meet friends
Friends can ease work troubles and help us see things in a different way. Hanging out with friends is the best medicine when it comes to relieving stress, especially when you have a good giggle. Laughing boosts the immune system that is often depleted during stress.
9. Try to see things differently
If something is concerning you, one way to deal with it is to try and see it differently. Talk over your problem with somebody not involved in the situation as they may give you a fresh view on the subject – it can help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective. Remember as well there are lots of professional counsellors out there that can help you when you’re going through stressful times. Pay a visit for your GP and they can help refer you.
10. Avoid alcohol, nicotine and caffeine as coping mechanisms
Long term, these faulty coping mechanisms will just add to the problem. Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants – too much and the body reacts to this with the stress response increasing or even causing anxiety symptoms. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant, so can make your moods low and also inhibit your ability to cope with stress.