Stress can be a great motivator – more often than not, however, it gets in the way of a healthy and productive life. Those of us who suffer from it regularly are, in fact, doing considerable damage to our bodies. Stress can trigger headaches, weaken the immune system, cause acne and breakouts – it can even contribute to infertility! Scary stuff. So, how to deal with it? The good news is, if you’re willing to put in the effort and take the time, ridding your body of chronic fight or flight can be rather easy indeed. Here are five quick steps you can take to calm your crazy brain.
1. Regular, Deep Sleep
Head to the pillow, eyes closed, curtains shut. Sure, it’s obvious, but we can all do with a reminder from time to time. Sleep is the body’s way of shutting down, of resetting, and of processing the day’s events. If you’re not getting enough, or you are but your sleep is disturbed, stress is an inevitable consequence. So: have a regular bedtime, an alarm in the morning and get yourself a quality mattress. Your health is worth it. If you’re really struggling, consider a rising light clock. You set it for when you’d like to wake up and it’ll gently increase light levels across the room. Simple but effective.
2. Healthy Food Three Times a Day
Emphasis on healthy food. A balanced diet contains a little of everything, sure, but the majority of your chow should be fresh, nutritious and filling without exception. Annoyingly, those of us that are stressed are often those of us with the most hectic daily schedules. That can make cooking your own posh nosh something of an issue – but fear not, there are alternatives. Like takeout! Delivery services like Deliveroo are opening us up to the possibility of getting healthier food delivered from a range of restaurants and cuisines, including high street brands – you can view the Carluccio’s menu, for example.
3. Get Yourself a Schedule
Or a list, or a diary, or a personal assistant, or… The list goes on and on. Staying organized keeps your brain from running rampant, so get yourself a schedule and stick to it. It won’t always be set in stone and it won’t always result in a stress free week, but it certainly helps.
4. Stay Active, Stay Moving
Exercise has been proven time and time again to considerably reduce and remove stress. So what are you waiting for? Get moving and feel the wind in your hair! Something as simple as taking the stairs instead of the escalator is the first step, getting out at the weekends into fresh air and nature the next. By changing your daily routine one thing at a time you can steadily make a difference.
5. Give Yourself a Break
Last but not least, take five. It’s ok to remove yourself from a stressful situation or process, if only for a short break, whilst you gather your thoughts and mentally reset. Stressed people do not make the best decisions – level headed and focused ones do.
And ultimately, that’s what this is all about: improving your work life, improving your health and taking care of both body and mind.