It’s pretty easy to talk about coping with stress, isn’t it? It’s very different when you’re actually going through it. It’s not easy to relax when you feel like there is no way out of the hectic situation you’ve found yourself in.
And to make things even more stressful, it’s that time of year when everything starts to get a little bit frantic. Before you know, it Christmas lunch will be upon us. We’ve got presents to organise, funds to keep an eye on, kids and family to entertain. It’s a fun but ultimately stressful time of year.
Stress can affect our thoughts and feelings, our relationships and can cause both mental and physical reactions.
According to Medical News Today, stress causes the following physical reactions:
- An increase in blood pressure
- Breathing becomes more rapid
- Digestive system slows down
- Heart rate rises
- Immune system goes down
- Muscles become tense
- We do not sleep and have a heightened state of alertness
They also say stress can have the following effects on our thoughts and feelings:
- Feeling of insecurity
- Problems concentrating
So what are some things we can do to de-stress our lives or at least work on decreasing the stress we feel on a daily basis?
Exercise has been proven to have a beneficial effect on a person’s mental and physical state. For many people, exercise is an effective de-stresser. Depending on what type of exercise you like, why not head to a boxing class, go for a run, go rock climbing or do a dance class? Making it a social activity by going with friends will help combat stress too.
Make sure you get enough sleep. You’ll feel recharged, alert and you’ll be giving your body the opportunity to relax while your brain reorganises its connections between nerve cells so you’re bright and alert for the day ahead.
Delegate your responsibilities at work where you can and don’t just say yes to everything. We know, this is a hard one, but taking on more than you can handle is stressful and can result in poor work. Only do what you can. If you’ve taken on too much and are having trouble getting through it, let someone know.
Give yourself time to relax. Head to a meditation class, go and get a massage or do some yoga. Remember to give yourself time to unwind and relax. Downtime is as important for our mental and physical health as anything else. Make sure you set aside some time each day just for yourself. Use that time to organise yourself, to relax and to pursue your own interests and hobbies.
Try and eliminate or at least cut down on alcohol, drugs and caffeine from your diet. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables and make sure your meals are colourful and healthy.
Talk to the people around you. If you need a shoulder to lean on, a helping hand or just someone to listen to you while you have a good rant, make sure you do it and reach out to the people around you. There’s no use bottling it all up inside. Whether it’s your boss, your partner or your friends, let them know how you’re feeling and how they can help you.