In the current times, with the uncertainty as well as the major changes to our daily lives it is not unlikely that stress levels will increase. However, this stress can be dealt with in a healthy way, that promotes harmony within the house as well as within yourself. Below are five ways to effectively relieve stress, not only for these uncertain times but for any time you are feeling stressed out or under pressure.
1. Spend time with friends and family
The support you can get from social settings is great for getting you through stressful periods. Belonging to a network of friends gives you a feeling of higher self-worth and a sense of belonging, these are feelings that will also help you feel less stressed. Spending time with friends and family members helps your body to release oxytocin which is a natural stress reliever. It has been found in previous studies that men and women with less social connections have a higher chance of suffering from depression and anxiety. So, regularly organise a virtual meet-up with your friends or family members.
2. Learn to say No
We can’t control every aspect of our lives, and therefore we can’t control every stressor that comes along. So we need to take the aspects of our lives that we can control, the parts of our lives that we can change and that cause us stress. One way to implement this is to say ‘no’ more often, however, not for the sake of saying no. Say ‘no’ when you don’t want to do something but you feel like you should say yes, (say ‘no’ more often, not always). Sometimes we will take on more than we can handle and end up having to balance many responsibilities that can end up leaving us overwhelmed. If we start to be more aware and picky about what we decide to accept into our lives, by doing this we stop unnecessarily loads which means reducing our stress levels. By saying no you can control these levels of stress and responsibilities.
3. Be active
Although there is no magic cure to stress, exercise can help to reduce the build-up of stress and emotions that you are feeling. Being active helps to clear your mind and assists you in dealing with your stress in a calmer manner. By putting physical stress on your body, this can, in turn, result in lower mental stress levels. The more regularly you exercise the stronger the benefits are, these benefits include; lowering stress hormones, and creating feelings of competence and confidence. Regular exercise assists in lowering feelings of stress and anxiety by bettering your sleep schedule and self-image, as well as releasing endorphins.
4. Have some ‘me’ time
We have to remember to take time out of our lives to set aside time to socialise, exercise and relax. A way to do this is to set aside two nights a week for some quality ‘me’ time, where you don’t work or do chores and instead relax- be happy doing something you enjoy or just doing nothing. By setting aside these two days a week, it means that you won’t be enticed to work overtime or complete any tasks on your to-do list unless those tasks are self-care tasks.
5. Work Smarter, not harder
This should always be our goal throughout our daily lives, to ‘work smarter, not harder’. By working smarter it means that we are prioritising our work tasks, and fixating on the tasks that will allow us to progress and make a difference. The best way to do this is to leave the least important job until last, even if your to-do list is always full we need to accept and ensure that we get the most important tasks completed first.
More ways: accept the things you can’t change, help other people, challenge yourself, spend time with your pet, meditation, listen to music, cuddle, do some yoga, laugh, reduce your caffeine intake, light some candles, have a bath, etc.
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