Tips to manage a stressful lifestyle
The phones are ringing, the kids are screaming, the washing machine’s broken and there’s smoke coming from the oven, meaning dinner’s probably ruined… Sound familiar?
Stress is that awful feeling that you get when you feel overwhelmed, tense, or under pressure about something. It can manifest in physical, social and emotional anguish, and if left unmanaged can lead to depression, anxiety-related disorders, or even feelings of resentment towards those close to you. And it can definitely affect your appearance, too (think dull skin, breakouts, dark-ringed eyes – it can even affect the health of your hair and nails!) So if things start to get overwhelming, it’s vital that you take some time out to reduce stress and get that healthy balance back into your life. Here’s how you can do it…
Make ‘me’ time: whether you’re able to do this once a week or once a month, block out some time in the diary, organise a babysitter for the kids and have a day to yourself. Go see that movie you’ve been dying to see, get pampered, go to a gym class…or do all three! The sooner you’re able to have some time to yourself to relax and unwind, the more equipped you’ll be to deal calmly with the things that would usually stress you out.
Exercise: don’t worry, this doesn’t have to involve sprinting until you puke. In fact, it can be any activity that provides a sense of ‘release’ such as jogging or yoga. If your kids are standing in the way of your ability to get moving, try incorporating them into your exercise options. Take a frisbee down to the park and instead of watching, join in. Or why not take the kids on a family bike ride for something a little different? Many gyms these days also have kids clubs so you can work off your stress while your kids are being taken care of.
Get energised: despite knowing all the benefits that exercise has to offer, many argue that they don’t have enough energy to do it in the first place. This is where food and sleep (two very important components) come into play. Make sure you keep healthy, low GI snacks with you for those days when you’re rushing like a mad(wo)man, and always keep a bottle of water by your side to stay hydrated. Also, try sipping on some chamomile tea before bed to help you relax and unwind for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Ask for help: This may seem like an obvious one, but most of us are too proud to show that we aren’t coping. We’d rather ‘struggle’ than be perceived as someone who can’t handle the demands of their lifestyle. Feeling uncomfortable asking for help is understandable, but it’s not something that should stand in the way of improving your quality of life. Lean on those close to you and you will be amazed at how much easier life can be.
Do you find yourself getting stressed often? What aspect of your life stresses you out the most?
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