Stress is something we can let overwhelm us because it can creep up on us at the most unexpected of times. Even when you are going through a period of stress, but don’t yet feel stressed, it’s likely your body is already feeling it in some way. So, stress is something we need to create proactive (and consistent) habits to manage effectively.
Here are 7 tips on managing stress.
1. Practise being mindful. The simple act of sitting down with a cup of coffee, without your phone in your hand, without the TV on, and just being present in the moment, taking a sip and focusing on the warm liquid touching your mouth, the heat and texture as it goes into your mouth and down your throat. This is being mindful. It doesn't have to be anything extreme, just consistent.
2. Practise positive self-talk. Be aware of that voice in your head and what it is telling you - catch those thoughts and challenge them. You are not your thoughts! (Something which has taken me years to realise and accept, but seriously, you are NOT your thoughts).
3. Prioritise self-care activities It's important to make sure you take good care of your mind, body and soul every day. The goal is to figure out which strategies work best for you, learn how to use those strategies and implement them into your regular routine so you can boost your wellbeing every day and forever.
4. Surround yourself with people who give off positive energy. It's so easy to pick up on negative energy and take it on as your own without realising, leaving you feeling like you're carrying around a dark cloud and you don't know why.
5. Exercise regularly. Try and find something that fits into your daily routine, fits with your family, and is something you enjoy. Seriously, if you don’t like running, don’t run! Find something fun, like roller skating, aerial hoop, pole fitness. Try a few things out and see what fits. Exercising is also a great way to release unwanted negative energy you might be holding onto from your day as well.
6. Don't overstretch yourself or over-promise. Set realistic goals and plans. It's OK to have big goals, but it's sensible to chunk them down. The saying goes "the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time". And, it's OK to say no to things that would mean some sort of self-sacrifice or feels overwhelming. Saying no is important to setting boundaries and honouring yourself.
7. Eat good, clean food but allow for a treat. The 80/20 rule is a great way to moderate. The last thing you want when you’re living through a stressful situation is your blood sugars going up and down drastically. The carb monster is real people!