Life seems to be getting busier, with more demands from our work and family life, and we find ourselves having less "me time" and getting more and more stressed. We are sharing our tips on How To Reduce Stress, from exercise and diet, to meditation and laughter.
How To Reduce Stress
Public Health Nutritionist, Dr Emma Derbyshire says: “Setting aside time for exercise is one of the most obvious examples of the importance of me-time. If we don’t make a conscious effort to schedule physical activity into our day, it’s all too easy for it to be crowded out by the demands of work, family and friends — and that can have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing.” Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to reduce stress in your life.
As strange as it may seem, putting physical stress on your body (in a good way) is actually good for reducing stress. Exercising regularly reduces stress hormones like cortisol and helps to release endorphins which boost your mood and are a natural painkiller too. Exercise will also improve your sleep and confidence, which is great for reducing stress.
You don't have to be hitting the gym 5 days a week for an hour at a time. Little things like going for a walk during your lunch break, playing football at the park with the kids, or going out for a walk and listen to a podcast whilst the baby naps in the pram can all make a huge difference.
2) Write Down Your Thoughts
Sometimes the best way to get all your stress out is to write it down - it can be cathartic. Either start keeping a diary, to vent all your frustrations, or go the positivity route and keep a gratitude diary. Every evening before bed, write down 5 things that you are grateful for, as focusing on the positives in your life can be a great stress buster.
3) Get more sleep
Getting good night's sleep can reduce the affects of stress, as when you are tired you are less patient and easily agitated. Things that might not usually get to you might tip you over the edge when you haven't had enough sleep. Try to aim to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night - easier said than done with little kids, I know, to help reduce stress.
They say that laughter is the best medicine and that is especially true when it comes to stress relief. After all, it's hard to feel stressed when you are having a good chuckle.
Try to spend more time around people that make you laugh, book tickets to see your favourite comedian, or just watch their live shows on a DVD when you feel stress and tension building up. Laughing doesn't just make you happy, but it relaxes your muscles and makes you feel less tense too.
1) Learn to say oo
Do you find yourself taking on more than you can handle? Do you always say yes to overtime, or helping people out and then feel overwhelmed and like it is one giant juggling act? Well, learn to say no more often and it will take a massive weight off your shoulder and can help to reduce stress. All that extra time can be spent on you, and making you feel good.
Learning to prioritise your to do list and avoid procrastination can really make a difference to your stress levels. If you always feel like you are trying to catch up, that is going to leave you stressed. So, prioritise your day, try to stay off social media and set realistic deadlines for things. Dedicate time to individual tasks rather than trying to multitask as that can be stressful in itself.
Yoga, meditation and mindfulness are all great ways to reduce stress, and they can be done in the comfort of your own home, with no equipment. Even just 10 minutes a day of meditation can make a huge difference when done regularly. We love the Calm app, which has guided meditations and helps you to focus on your breathing.
Mindfulness allows you to focus on being in the moment, rather than thinking about things from the past, or perhaps what might happen in the future - two things that can be big stress triggers. It can really help with negative thinking, by bringing you in to the moment and just focusing on basic things like breathing.
4) Get a relaxing play list
We all have songs that make us want to do a little happy dance, so why not make a playlist full of them. Either have a playlist of "dance like nobody is watching" songs, or maybe something a little more relaxing to listen to whilst meditating. Nature sounds can be really calming and help you drift off to sleep too.
5) Eat your way to a stress free life
Your diet can have a huge affect on your mental health, so it's important that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet. A diet high in omega 3s and vitamin D are good for a mood boost, so try to include more oily fish like salmon and some egg yolks in to your diet.