And Relax! Easy Ways To Keep Stress At Bay


Stress is one of the most common afflictions in the modern world. While a certain degree of stress can make us more productive, severe stress and frequent bouts of feeling like you’re swimming against the tide can be harmful. If you’re struggling at the moment, or you’re looking for ways to keep stress at bay in the future, here are some simple strategies you can employ to make you feel calm and relaxed.

Time management
One of the most common reasons we suffer from stress is a lack of time. Many of us are guilty of giving ourselves too much to do, but issues with time management are also rife. If you do find that you’re juggling several balls at the same time on a regular basis, or you crave more time to devote to socializing or winding down, take a look at your schedule. Eliminate activities or meetings that eat into valuable downtime, be more selective when it comes to filling up your diary, and factor in time out. It’s crucial that you take time to relax and recharge your batteries, and that you try to find a work-life balance. Learning to say no is difficult, but it can have an amazing impact on your mental and physical health. Prioritize activities and appointments, and factor in regular periods for relaxation, hobbies, or seeing friends or family. If you long to have an hour to yourself in the evenings from time to time, get something in the diary, and stick to your plans. If you have yoga on a Tuesday night, for example, view that commitment in the same light as a meeting at work. Everybody needs time to recover, rest, and focus on their health and happiness.

Creating a relaxing home environment
They say home is where the heart is, but sometimes, this can represent a rose-tinted vision. If you don’t feel calm and content when you’re at home, this could be affecting your mental wellbeing and making you more prone to stress. If you’ve had a busy day at work, or the kids have run you ragged, it’s so beneficial to have a haven to retreat to. Many of us view our bedrooms as a sanctuary, but the reality is that not every boudoir is fit for purpose when it comes to shutting down and chilling out. If your room is packed full of clutter, light is streaming through the curtains, there’s noise permeating through the air from outside, or you’ve got a half-finished DIY masterpiece on your hands, it’s time to focus on creating a tranquil space. Finish off half-baked jobs, swap harsh, bright lights for softer lighting, and use candles and essential oils to add ambiance. Opt for neutral colors in the bedroom, and make your bed look appealing. Scatter cushions, blankets, and throws to add a cozy vibe, and block out light with blinds or lined curtains. Avoid using technology in the bedroom, and use this space to read, listen to music, and sleep.

Exercise
Exercise is famed for its ability to perk you up and make you feel energized, but it can also be a brilliant stress-buster. Physical activity is proven to help you sleep better, it acts as a distraction if you’ve got things on your mind, and it provides a natural high. When your body is moving, your serotonin levels increase, and your body also releases endorphins. If you don’t already exercise on a regular basis, try and introduce more active pursuits into your weekly routine. You don’t have to become an overnight gym devotee, but you should notice that you feel much better when you start living a more active lifestyle. Go for walks after work, take the dog out for a jog, join a sports team or a tennis or golf club, try home fitness workouts, or dust off your bike and take it for a spin. Ideally, you should aim for 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, but if you’re a novice with low levels of fitness, it’s best to increase activity levels gradually. Match the activity you choose to your mood. If you’ve had a long day, and you just want to crash on the sofa, for example, why not take a yoga class? If you’ve got energy to burn, and you’re feeling angry or frustrated, book a boxing class, go for a run, or play a game of tennis.

Get creative
Many of us wish we had more time to devote to hobbies. Research suggests that having a hobby can help to reduce the risk of stress, anxiety, and depression. Creative activities are particularly beneficial because they enable you to express yourself, they offer a distraction to work or other pressures, and  provide an outlet for emotions. If you have thoughts whirring around your head, painting a picture, writing, or even composing a song can really help you to process those thoughts and the emotions they provoke. Creative pursuits can also be really fun, and even if you’re in a good mood, and you’ve had a great day, you might find that getting your brushes out, baking a cake, or making a new dress puts a smile on your face.

Meditate
Do you ever feel like your mind is racing? Do you find it hard to shut down and relax after work? Do you sometimes feel like things are getting on top of you, and you’re not sure how to handle situations? Do you crave peace or moments of solitude? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you may benefit from trying meditation. Meditation is designed to clear your mind, make you focus on positive thoughts, and help you to feel calm and balanced. You can meditate alone, you can join groups, or you can use apps. The beauty of meditation is that you can do it anywhere, and even 5 minutes will make a difference.

Do you find it hard to relax, or do you feel like you’re living your life at a hundred miles an hour? Life can be hectic and stressful, but it’s vital to try and find a balance and to utilize techniques to promote calmness and relaxation. Next time you feel like you’re running through treacle, or you’re having one of those days, try these simple strategies.

This is a contributed post.
Photo: Vogue Paris

7 comments

Mai Nguyen said...

I have been struggling with stress a lot since starting my new job last year. I'm a constant teeth grinder in my sleep, so I definitely need to learn how to manage my stress better. I've started working out 5-6 times a week, but I might need to do something else like acupuncture to get it in check!

Mai
✰ maidoesthings.com

FashionRadi said...

Stress is so common but we can always find our own ways to deal with it. I love to keep active and take a bit of time for myself during the day.

www.fashionradi.com

Yiota said...

Spending time outdoors works best for me, takes my mind off things and makes me relax!! x

Yiota
http://pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com/

Pilar said...

I struggle a lot with stress, so these tips are very helpful. Have a great week Rowena!

Beauty Unearthly said...

Hello, thanks for the information. Have a nice day

Ivana Split said...

Great tips for dealing with stress!

Chelsey @ The Heartspace Connect said...

Well said. I find meditation to be the most helpful practice when it comes to creating more space, ease and grace in daily life.