Page 3: How to minimise stress

Stress is a symptom of too much pressure. It can stem from work or school, in family or society. A minimal amount of stress can help us perform at our best, but too much can quickly debilitate us – in worst case scenarios, lead to burnout and other health problems. It should not be a state of mind, an aspiration or a badge of honour.

I do not want to be the type of person who doesn’t prioritise their health. This week, I’m going to implement these strategies, which I’ve used in the past, into my daily routine:

Getting organised

Keeping lists of what I need to do at work and what I want to achieve to progress my goals helps me to track my workload and schedule my time. Key to this is prioritising, being realistic with what you can do in a day and scheduling in time for breaks or buffers between projects. When we’re realistic with our time, we achieve what we set out to do and can feel good about it.

My commitment: Create a to do list every morning before anything else. Prioritise the three most important tasks, and if you accomplish them, that’s a job well done.

Taking breaks

Being ‘always on the go’ may sound glamorous but is not maintainable. You can still work hard and take breaks – in fact, we often work much better when our mind is not tired. Some of my favourite ways to take a break at work, for example, is taking a walk in the neighbourhood, getting a coffee from the local coffee shop, meeting friends for lunch. It often helps to remove yourself from the work environment.

My commitment: Schedule in at least 30 minutes at lunch time away from your desk.

Nourishing the body

Eating well, exercising and pampering the body can work wonders for the mind. Giving your body the nutrients it needs gives you the energy you need. Exercising helps release the tension built up during the day. And pampering the body by taking a bath or doing a face mask helps slow the mind.

My commitment: Be a conscious eater; exercise at the gym three times this week; practice some yoga

Sleeping well

Sleep can be one of the first sacrifices we make with a busy lifestyle. But it shouldn’t be neglected. Ways I try to help my body get the rest it needs is going to bed at a similar time each night, listening to piano music before bed to signal to my brain that we’re soon going to sleep, and keeping work life out of the bedroom (if you work at home, have a separate space for work outside of the bedroom).

My commitment: Put your phone on airplane mode at 9pm; turn the light off at 10.30pm

I’ve also heard excellent things about meditation and mindfulness – I cannot vouch for them as strategies but this week I’m going to get up each morning and do 10 minutes of mindfulness.

Got any of your own tips, habits or commitments? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. I’ll let you know how I get on with mine.

(Image: Pinterest)

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Three ways to be more free


Honesty 

Being honest is often daunting, but also liberating. Being honest with others and being honest with ourselves releases the weight of secrets, the pressures of pretence, and the tangles of a tale. We shouldn’t have to lie about who we are or what we do. It gets draining after a while, to the point where we can’t see a way out and life isn’t pleasant anymore. It might be daunting, but it’s true when they say that the truth will set you free.

Letting go of the past

It’s hard for us to forget our mistakes, and even harder for us to forgive ourselves. But whether we accept it or not, the past is done and dusted; it is written already. But that doesn’t mean the pen is out of our hands, that our story is already written. No, our story continues as long as we do. Whatever you do, don’t let it stop because of the past. There’s always time for a plot twist.

Following your heart

Don’t listen to others who tell you who to be, how to be, what to do, if you don’t agree. Whether it’s your family, your friends, your society, nobody has more power over you than you do. It’s exhausting trying to please everyone, meet their high standards, follow what is expected, because nobody’s outlook on life is the same. Nor should it be. Do you and be the best you that you can be. The rest will fall into place.

(Image: Pinterest)

You are more than

  
You are more than labels. You are more than pain. You are more than your mistakes. You are more than the pressure. You are not coloured in black and white. You are not a single note on a manuscript or a single page in a book. You are more than a reflection or a shadow. You are more than a number on a scale. Don’t listen to others who tell you so. Don’t let others pack you in a box they’ve created for you. Don’t be an ‘or’ because you’re an ‘and’. You are more than one thing you do or say or believe. You can be anything you want to be. You can change your mind. You can be more than you think you can be. 

(Image: Pinterest)

Who you’re with this holiday season

What really matters

The holiday season can sometimes be stressful. We want to have a magical time with our loved ones, and that can put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make it happen for everyone. To make it a little less stressful, we sometimes have to alter our perspective. Our expectations won’t always match our reality, and that’s ok. Sometimes the most memorable times are the spontaneous ones. Sometimes the most memorable times are the quietest ones. But most of all, the most memorable times depend on who we’re with. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what we do, but who we share this time with. It’s the ones we’re with who will ultimately make it magical. Let’s not stress about the holiday time. Let it happen naturally.

(Image: Pinterest)

 

 

Cling to what is good

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Sometimes we have to make choices under pressure, under heightened emotions, and under difficult circumstances. Sometimes we want vengeance or justice, because that is what seems fair and right. But there’s still a line between right and wrong, good and bad, that we must navigate carefully – what we might think is right in a moment might be wrong in the long run. Because once actions are made, words are said, there’s no taking them back. They might be forgiven but never forgotten. Cling to what is good. Cling to positivity, happiness, kindness. Cling to solutions that end problems, not create them.

(Image: Pinterest)

Thought of the Day: Relax

relax quotes

Nowadays, we’re in an entirely different game. Instead of looking to have more and have the best, we are under pressure to actually be better, work harder, strive further, and improve faster. And although this is a positive shift, it can be just as exhausting. We need to realise that it is ok to relax, slow down, laze around, and be still. It is ok to take time to re-cooperate, re-energise, and revitalise. It is ok to breakdown, to mess up, and to feel off-beat. We are not machines. We cannot keep going forever. And that’s ok. All we need balance, because no extreme is sustainable. Only balance will give us the optimal results. Balance is the way we win the game. So relax.

(Image: ishareimage.com)

Thought of the Day: Missing Out

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. 

The fear of missing out and being left behind is a pretty universal fear: we fear that we won’t hit a particular milestone at the correct time in our lives, or we fear that we won’t be invited to a certain social event, for example. Our first reaction is to try and fit in, and to mould ourselves to the conventional ideas about what life should be like. But won’t we then be missing out on our lives? Won’t we miss out on the parts of life we wanted for ourselves because we traded them in for what we were told we wanted? Let’s not go through our life pretending and wake up wondering where it’s gone. We only have one life and it’s ours. Build it, tailor it and paint it how ever you want. Don’t miss out on your life out of fear of missing out on a life like someone else. There’s no time to waste.