Make Time to Relax
In this day and age, it’s easy to feel that the demands of your lifestyle are all-encompassing, leaving you with little time to relax. However, it is important to find time to relax and de-stress, as an overstressed body is bad for the mind, body and spirit.
Improve Your Relaxation – Be Aware of Stressors
Every person has their own warning signs that are triggered when they are becoming overwhelmed by stress. The key is recognising these before stress starts doing you damage. Some key warning signs include:
- reduced clarity of thought
- difficulty concentrating or communicating with others
- becoming more susceptible to colds and flus
- the temptation to turn to things such as alcohol or food for comfort
- poor self-esteem
- lowered confidence
If you do feel yourself becoming stressed, it is important to schedule a few minutes in your day to try and relieve this, even if it is as little as 10 minutes. Some easy relaxation techniques include deep breathing, meditation, some quiet time reading a magazine, massage, or taking an aromatherapy bath.
Schedule Time for Your Own Relaxation
Stress is unavoidable and it is for this reason that we need to create a resource bank that we can rely upon. It is not about taking time away from important activities, but rather scheduling time in your day to look after yourself, whether it be for eating well, leisure activities that you enjoy, seeing friends, or getting some exercise. Some easy ideas include:
- Aim to eat healthily but still allow for a few indulgences.
- Leave work on time – this will create a better work/life balance and stop you from taking work home. If you still have work to do, make a to-do list and rest assured knowing that you will have a plan for when you get back to the office in the morning.
- Between projects or tasks, schedule yourself a break so that you can take a quick walk or do something that is completely unrelated to the task at hand.
- Step away from the computer! Taking short breaks to get a drink or to do some quick exercises. This will rest your eyes and keep your brain feeling more alert.
- Make time for exercise that you enjoy. Exercise is a great way to work out the frustrations of the day and it doesn’t have to mean sweating it out in a gym. The beach, walking, dancing, yoga, swimming, or any other option all work equally well and you will feel better physically as well as mentally.
- Allow time for visualisation. Visualising your favourite place, person or memory will allow your brain to process the information that it has received and you’ll also get the benefits of endorphins or happy hormones flowing through the body and countering the effects of stress hormones.
- Create your own space at home. Whether it is a favourite room, chair, or even the bathtub, knowing that you have a space that you can retreat to is often a stress reliever in itself.
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