Mar 20, 2018
In between juggling work, family, and other commitments, you may not even realise that you are burning the candle at both ends until it is too late and you get overwhelmed by the never-ending pressure. It is important to remain aware of your psychological well-being and to not shrug off signs of exhaustion.
Long-term stress can wreak havoc on both your mental and physical health. Not uncommon examples are anxiety, headaches, depression and weight gain – all of these further contributing to more serious health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Learning how accurately to manage your stress requires focus and taking time for yourself. Nevertheless, you can and have to do it.
Here are 5 ways to help.
A regular workout can be one of the best ways to clear your mind. Exercise not only allows you time away from your office but it is known to result in the release of endorphins or feel good hormones allowing an improved state of mind. The mental benefits are further complimented by the physical benefits of exercise. Feeling comfortable and strong in one’s own body removes a potential negative influencer of feeling overweight and tired.
Doctors recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for adults with an additional two session of resistance or strength training per week. If the exercise is of vigorous intensity it can be halved to 75 minutes.
Exercise can be done in as little as 10 minute blocks. Allocating 30 minutes a day to exercise equate to 2% of your day. When put in perspective the benefits far outweigh the sacrifice. For only 2% of your day you will be more productive when you are working, you will feel healthy and strong and reap the many rewards of having oxygen pumping through your veins.
Little tricks can help you stay committed to an exercise routine.
Invest in Relaxation
Occupational stress can lead to muscular tightness which is not only uncomfortable and psychologically draining, but can propagate musculoskeletal imbalances. Invest in looking after your body by doing simple task like:
Taking a few minutes every day to experience you current environment in the moment that you are in. Not judging it based on the perceived future or past regrets. Since the introduction of mindfulness into secular practice in 1979 by Jon Kabat Zinn there have been countless studies showing the benefits especially in stress reduction. Mindfulness though requiring practice can be incorporated into normal daily activities.
Eating regular nutritious meals and keeping a well-balanced diet can help in your general mood. Meals should be filled with ample amounts of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein for energy. Don’t skip any meals, or rely on unhealthy snacks. Always try to avoid artificial additives and excessive amounts of sugar which causes unhealthy highs and lows in blood sugar levels.
Taking a break
Constant focus is taxing on the mind. Inadequate credit is given to the energy required for the brain to function. Just like muscles during exercise, the brain uses energy while you are focussed and it too requires a break to refresh and relax. Taking a break doesn’t need to be a week off work – just simply an hour or so during the day to go outside, get some fresh air and give the mind a moment to recover. Try relaxing activities such as meditation, yoga, tai chi or listening to your favourite music. Actively avoid thinking about work and you will feel refreshed when you return, able to solve problems or make decision that may have previously seemed difficult to deal with.
Talk to someone
If you feel that things in live are becoming overwhelming, recognise it and speak to a close friend, family member or even a councillor if necessary. Sharing can help decrease your stress and there is no shame in acknowledging your problems. You might find that many of your friends have similar problems or have advise on how they have handled situations in the past. They might be helpful by simply being able to distract you and spend some time with you enjoying a laugh. None the less, knowing that someone is there sharing the journey with you can take a big weight off your shoulders.