With National Stress Awareness Day on Wednesday 7th November I thought I’d offer you a timely reminder of how to keep stress at bay.
Know your enemy!
If you know why you get stressed it is much easier to manage your reaction to it. Write down all the things, people, situations that cause you to tense up and go a bit ga-ga! Once that’s done write down a strategy for managing your response better. For example, if there is someone who really drains you of energy, or rubs you up the wrong way take steps to spend less time with them (if it’s your partner that’s a whole other matter!). I’ve removed ‘friends’ from facebook and twitter before and set my phone to answerphone only for certain people (annoying sales people) who persistently sap my energy.
Choose a healthy lifestyle.
Looking after yourself is key to managing your stress levels. If you don’t eat properly, drink too much coffee or (God forbid!) Diet Coke, then you are setting yourself up for trouble.
- Choose fresh foods over processed.
- Drink herbal teas and water and reduce your caffeine.
- Reduce sugar and alcohol.
- Get 7-8 hours sleep each night.
- Walk for 15-20 minutes each day (you do have time for that!)
- Avoid MSG, artificial sweeteners and trans-fats.
- Take a multi-vitamin daily.
If you are under a lot of stress and have been for a long time you will need to boost your vitamin C intake. Taking 1g, twice a day will help boost levels although for some it may still not be enough.
For a more indepth nutritional analysis drop me a line.
Take time out for you.
I know this is easier said than done and up until very recently I preached but didn’t practice! Since listening to this from Anthony Robbins (point 2 of the blog on this link) I have changed my daily routine. I get up and walk immediately. It’s only 25 minutes or so, but I take time to think and the plan my day before it all gets going and rushed. It’s been a revelation to me and whilst I’ve not missed a day yet (in about 45) I don’t want to either!
Whatever suits you best, walking, meditating, reading, massage, gentle exercise make sure you DO IT! You can’t look after others if you’re screwed up yourself!
Massage offer available this month to mark Stress Awareness Day. Buy two massages and get third at 50% discount when paid up front.
Practice good time management.
Leaving things to the last minute (my area to work on!) is a sure fire way to pile on the pressure. Organise yourself each night for the next day. I know it takes a little bit of time at night and you really won’t want to do it. But really, you will be so pleased you did in the morning! So, iron that shirt, make those sarnies and tidy your kitchen. Life will be easier!
Avoid addictive coping substances.
Cigarettes, coffee, tea, chocolate, Red Bull, pain-killers, headache tablets, sweets, chewing gum, alcohol are all going to make it much worse. You know it. You don’t want to listen to your intuition, but life will be easier when you crack this one. Start eating more healthily and this will get easier as you have more energy and feel brighter.
Change your ‘gots’ to ‘gets’
If you always think about ‘having to do something’, as in “ugh, I’ve got to go away on business” then your mind is already in a negative, stressy state. So you’re going to have a negative, stressy experience. If you change it to “oooh! I get to go away on business” means you can start to see the benefit in the experience. Always see the good in something, life is lighter that way!
I changed my ‘got’ to ‘get’ with regards to dressing up and looking smart. It’s not natural, it’s not me, but hey I’ll make the most of it! I expect I’ll even like it!
Stop trying to be super-human!
We’re not. We can’t be. Stop trying.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Really do this. Take a reality check on some of the issues on your stress list. Can you let some of it go?
Take time for friends.
They are our support group, our network, our lifeline. Support them despite your own problems and yours will seem less important. Helping others is very empowering.
Adopt an attitude of gratitude!
Stop. Look at your life, what you have and think how lucky you are. You live, you breathe, you can read, you have a computer (if you’re reading this) you are lucky in so many ways. We all are! Find what’s right in your life not what’s wrong!