As we move into the spring months, you may be thinking about holidays and time out for some rest and relaxation after a hard grafting winter. However until that time comes, you may appreciate some tips to get you through the last stretch, before you can say Daffodil!
In order to have a good work life balance, it’s important to ensure that you are looking after the most important person in your life – YOU!
How often do you tune into your body? If you were to do it right now, what would you notice? Perhaps you might notice some stiffness, aches and pains or an emotion that is recurring, such as moodiness or irritability. All these are signs that you could be a little stressed. So here are 5 tips to help you move through your day and night more comfortably.
Tip # 1 – Breathing
When under pressure or stressed, we often shallow breathe. Our breathing can also increase in pace and our chest becomes heavy or tight. Giving simple attention to the breath can have a big impact on how the mind responds to external factors, such as work overload or conflict situations. Breathing is an extremely important function for your body to feel balanced and harmonious. So, by simply taking 3 deep and slow breaths at different intervals throughout your day, or before tackling a difficult task or situation, will do wonders for a clearer and better functioning mind, as well as keep the tensions in our upper body at bay.
Tip # 2 – Make a Change
As Einstein once quoted “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
When was the last time you checked in with your habits and routines? If you feel like you’re constantly struggling up hill, what could you do to make a change? Very often we believe a simple solution to our problems is to make others accountable for our misfortunes, so we can blame someone or something else for our unhappiness. Stress and anxiety is a result of thinking and feeling the same negative emotion over and over and the exit route is in our habits and behaviours. Write a list of all the things that are a problem for you right now (you can use more than one sheet of paper!) When you have completed your list, go back and write a solution to each of the problems, to help you re-focus your priorities and consider how you can take a more responsible approach to doing something differently.
Tip # 3 – Monitor Your Food and Nutrition
Stress can encourage unhealthy eating and drinking habits, and may drive us towards the nearest sugar packed chocolate bar, caffeine fuelled drink or even that after-work glass of vino or two! It’s really important to check-in with your daily eating habits and monitor your nutritional intake, as this will have a fundamental impact on your stress levels. If you think your diet could be better, it might be worth meeting with a nutritionist to ensure that you are getting the correct daily nutrients for your constitution. If you are not getting the right nutrients or eating unhealthy foods throughout the day, this will have a negative effect on your mood and performance output in your daily life. Regular hydration will stave off those pesky afternoon headaches, so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Tip # 4 – Re-frame Your Negative Thinking
Mindset is a big factor which impacts on our body’s ability to be able to cope with everyday stress. If you are consistently feeling down in the dumps or perhaps feel negative about life in general, small problems may become magnified to being bigger than they really are. This has an effect on how you deal with everyday situations and contributes to your coping mechanisms. If you need to improve your mindset, take some time to write a list of all the things you have achieved in your life so far and also the things that are going well for you right now. A simple re-frame of your thoughts will impact on your mindset in many positive ways. When you are feeling positive it affects your neurology and your body benefits as well.
Tip # 5 – Do Something You Love Each Day <3
When we are stressed it can be very easy to forget to do the things that make us happy. The most important thing you can do for your own self-care is to ensure you make time to do something you love daily, if not weekly. Perhaps you may enjoy being creative or going for walks in the woods. Having a bath with your favourite aromas is a great way to unwind and relax after a busy day and will leave you feeling calm before bed. As a result you get a better night’s sleep and you will be far more productive the following day.