It’s Stress awareness month and I think it’s important if we just stop for a second and take note of the horrible impact stress has on our lives. Right, ready to continue? Good, stress can be important for change and drive but when it reaches a level that is not manageable then, that’s when you need to stop for a minute and evaluate things. So what small changes can you make that will really help?
1.Mange your own expectations
Expectations is often what drives our stress levels up. This could be us expecting to get a job promotion by a certain date. It could be expectations to deliver vast quantities of work by a certain deadline or it could even be hitting personal targets you have set. Take a moment and step back to evaluate what is making you stressed. Ask yourself how much of this, is really in my control? Ask yourself, what can I realistically achieve in this time period? Once you have established that then begin to manage your own personal expectations better. After that manage the expectations of those around you. Talk to those who are affected by the outcome of your goal and let them know how things are going and how you feel.
2. Learn how to relax
This may sound relatively simple but you would be surprised how many people struggle to relax when they are stressed. You have probably heard alot about meditation and mindfulness? It’s not just a fad that is on trend, it actually has scientific evidence behind it. So give it a go.
Also find other things that relax you which allow you focus on that activity alone and allow you to be free from intrusive stressful thoughts This could be playing sport, painting, playing an instrument. Try a few things out.
3. Look after your body
Now when I say this I mean think about the food you are eating when you are stressed and the level of sleep you get. So when we are stressed we tend to stress eat. Popping out for a muffin from M&S at lunch? or maybe it’s shoving down a galaxy bar and a packet of crisp for dinner because you’re going to be home to late to cook. Get on those quick health meals – make your lunch the night before. Develop a sleep schedule and stick to it. Make sure you’re going to bed at the same each night and have a relaxing routine before bed. Sleep is often the thing that is most affected when we are stressed but the thing we most need when we are stressed to help us operate.