Stress Management Advice Top Tips!
Stress management can be tricky. It is not enough to try to 'fix' whatever is causing your stress levels to rise. What is so important, is how you cope and take care of yourself. Only then can you deal with all that is going on for you.
Here are my top tips for stress management:
Sleep is so important for our mental wellbeing and is often the first thing to go when we are stressed.
- Having a regular sleep cycle is beneficial. Consistency in the time you go to bed and get up in the morning helps the body to develop a routine. If you are a shift-worker, a good wind-down routine before bed can be helpful - the brain needs to process events of the day before sleep.
- Go to bed when you are tired. Ensure your bedroom is a place you feel comfortable. Think about the right temperature for you (usually cool is best) and consider black out blinds - the dark helps the body to wind down and ease into sleep.
- Have a warm bath half an hour to an hour before bed - your body temperature rises when in the bath and falls once you come out. The rise back to normal body temperature again induces sleep.
- Cut out caffeine and alcohol before bed - caffeine will not help you to settle into sleep and alcohol, whilst initially may make you feel sleepy, can wake you later in the night.
- If you are having trouble getting to sleep, try some relaxation techniques (see link below)
Exercise regularly doing something you enjoy to release those 'feel good' endorphins.
- Not all of us can get into going to the gym (fab if you can though!), however try walking the dog or taking the children to the park. Dig out your favourite music and download onto your phone or ipod and walk/jog around the block. You will be pleasantly surprised how easy it becomes after the first couple of times.
Take time to relax
- Now and then, read a book, magazine or newspaper - don't feel guilty!
- Meditate or listen to music.
- Take up that hobby you have always wanted to do.
- Try some relaxation exercises or breathing techniques
- Lists, lists and more lists! If you notice that it is getting increasingly difficult to concentrate or retain information, then putting pen to paper is a great way to help to manage this.
- Write important dates, birthdays and meetings etc on your calendar or in your diary. If you have a mobile phone, then use the calendar function or reminder tool when you need to.
- Don't beat yourself up if you are someone who normally remembers everything - just write it all down so you can let go of information you don't have to retain.
- Laughing and smiling improves the way you feel. It is also infectious - try it out!
- Don't have time? Make some time...
Nutrition and healthy eating
- Try cutting down on fats, sugary foods and salt.
- Eat foods with more fruit, vegetables and fibre to maintain energy levels and digestive functions.
- Like sleep, you can help the body with stress relief if you have a routine for regular mealtimes.
Spend time with people
If you find that you feel stressed, you may withdraw from people and not want to talk as much, however...
- Interacting with people can help to lift symptoms of stress and may give you an opportunity to talk or confide in someone about what is worrying you.
- Think about who is in your support network from friends, family, neighbours and colleagues.
One day at at time...
If you find that you are having a stressful time and are overwhelmed, try to focus very short term. Think about what you have to achieve for today and plan for tomorrow and leave it at that.
Worrying about next year or six months time is counterproductive and you will find it hard to have a sense of control with the here and now.
If you notice your symptoms becoming more unmanageable and your physical and mental health is worsening, do consider seeing your doctor.
See my page on Signs of Depression
See Hypnosis Downloads for some fabulous scripts to help you relax and sleep better...
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