There are a lot of things that can ramp your stress levels up past 11: work, family, technology, deadlines… The list goes on. I have been struggling with stress quite a bit recently, and as such have been putting a lot of thought into how to de-stress my life. So here are my Top Ten Tips for De-Stressing.
Tip Number 1 Arrive Early.
Now, this may seem a strange one to be the first on my list, but hear me out. When I am driving to work, and I am running late I am the epitome of stress. My neck is tense, my back is sore, my heart is pounding. It sucks. When I finally do arrive at work, and I’m not late the relief is palpable. However, if I am late, the stress gets worse and I feel bad because I’ve let my team down and myself down. However, I can alleviate all of this by leaving ten minutes early each day. Since starting this practice I have found that my drive to work and other places or appointments are no longer a raging stress pot. Instead, they are quiet, calm and easy (with some awesome music thrown in the mix too). So yeah, leave early to arrive early.
Tip Number 2 Take Time Out For You.
This one for me is something I do too often, for the wrong reasons with the wrong intentions. My “time out” is often sitting at my computer completely zoned out or playing games. Which is fine if it’s only once in a while, but this is how I spend almost all of my free time…. Not good. So for me, when I take time out for me, I run a bath or go and read a book. Reading is a big de-stressor for me. I just love it endlessly. Which leads me into my next tip…
Tip Number 3 Take Time Away From Technology.
Technology is one of my biggest crutches. So to de-stress, while also taking time away from technology, is a big challenge for me. Like above, reading for me is a great way to escape technology and enjoy some time just for me. Finding a hobby to enjoy spending time on is a great way to take time out without technology. Puzzles, knitting, dancing, taking a new class or working on a new project. Have fun with it!
Tip Number 4 Exercise Regularly
It’s a proven fact that exercise releases dopamine, dopamine makes you happy. Ergo exercise makes you happy, and happiness is great for being stress-free. It doesn’t have to be a lot of exercise, sometimes even just going for a short walk is enough. For me, exercise is more about listening to my body and getting used to what feels good. I enjoy strength training, yoga, and karate in particular. Other’s enjoy running and high cardio exercises. Do what works for you, get moving and release that wonderful dopamine.
Tip Number 5 Get Some Fresh Air
Fresh air is important, it’s one of the ultimate feel goods. Go for a walk, enjoy the sunshine while it’s there. Sit on your deck and relax. It’s great, I promise.
Tip Number 6 Treat Yourself To Something Special.
Taking some time for you is a big theme with this post. It important, especially if you’re like me and suffer from chronic stress. Have a night out, take a bath, go shopping and buy something new. Treats are important, we give them to our children, we give them to our pets, so why not also give them to ourselves?
Tip Number 7 Jam Out To Your Favourite Music.
I think we can all agree that music is amazing. There is nothing quite like dancing around your living room with your favourite music blasting from the speakers. Enough said, enjoy!
Tip Number 8 See Your Friends.
Friends are your support network, when times get tough, the tough stick around. Go out for lunch, have a coffee or watch a movie together. Spending time with your mates is a great way to relieve stress and have a good yarn about what’s going on. Sometimes talking about our stress gets rid of it. Sometimes when we talk about our stressors we find new ways to deals with them.
Tip Number 9 Laugh.
Laughter really is the best medicine. The more you laugh, quite often, the better you feel. Watch a comedy routine, laugh with your friends or someone special, find a reason to laugh. Laughing is good. =)
Tip Number 10 Look after yourself.
Looking after yourself is important, you can’t look after everyone else if you’re struggling to take care of yourself. Unfortunately, it’s taken me a long, long time to learn this. Quite often I put my own health, my own needs on the back burner, to take care of others around me. To fulfil other commitments. It is one of my biggest struggles, so I advise you to learn from my mistakes and look after yourself. It doesn’t make you selfish, it doesn’t mean that you don’t care. It means that you do, in fact, care.
Health is something I never thought about… At least until it wasn’t there anymore. Stress is one of the biggest health killers out there. Because of my own stress I’m nearly constantly sick and struggling with maintaining any modicum of health. This is something I have been dealing with for a long time and I’ve found these tips to be extremely effective in minimising the levels of stress in my life. Look after yourselves! Keep calm and be happy.
As always, I’m going to tell you to go write something! But I’m also going to add- take a damn break too =)