We all get stressed now and then and usually it’s harmless and we get back to normal pretty sharpish. The problem is when these periods of stress become prolonged and start to have an effect on your health, mood and daily activities.
Stress can have a nasty habit of creeping up on you. One minute you’re fine with the busy schedule at work, the next you’re feeling completely frazzled and ready to snap at any moment. These moments of stress usually fix themselves once that initial stressor has passed. When the busy work day has finished and you get some quiet time you feel much better. But what about when you don’t feel your normal self? Stress can leave you feeling exhausted and run down, it can have an effect on your mood and the way you are with other people and it can disrupt your sleeping pattern. If you find yourself affected in this way, here are some things you can do try and reduce stress and tension.
Keep yourself active whenever possible. This doesn’t necessarily mean devoting your spare time to the gym, it can mean something as simple as going for a 10-15 minute walk every day. It gets you out into the fresh air, gives you time to clear your head and the activity also boosts your endorphin production. If you can add regular exercise routines into your schedule that’s even better. Ideally, the recommendation is to exercise for 30 minutes per day. It can be hard to fit this in, but if you can find the time you’ll notice the benefit and also give yourself a regular outlet for your stress and tension.
Diet can also be crucial in keeping stress at bay. Eating a balanced diet will stop you feeling hungry, dehydrated and falling victim to a dietary deficiency. If these things are left to continue they will add to your feelings of stress and also make it harder for you to deal with any new stressors. Eat foods that will add nutritional value to your diet and always keep hydrated – if you can avoid tea and coffee, because the extra caffeine can affect your mood and make you more susceptible to stressful emotions.
Learn to relax. Find out which activities relax you and make them a regular part of your routine. Many people find great benefits in meditation, as it allows you to take some time away from daily life and to just let your mind be completely free. Others prefer to have time to themselves where they can do whatever they want, even if it’s just taking an hour out a day to sit back and watch the tv show they want. Some prefer a bit of indulgence when they relax, so massages are a great way to unwind, as is spending an hour or two in a spa. Saunas and steam rooms in particular are fantastic ways to relax as they not only give you time to let your mind be free from stressors, the heat in them also soothes tense muscles. As long as you feel relaxed when you’re doing it it doesn’t really matter what you do.