Managing stress

April was Stress Awareness Month. During this time , after the first quarter of the calendar year, many people struggle with managing their stress levels at work, at home and even within their social lives. Stress can be inevitable for some of us so here are 5 simple ways I would encourage you to manage stress to try regain and sustain balance in different aspects of your life through mindfulness, management and positive conversations.

1. Physical Exercise

This is certainly easier said than done but  Many studies show that engaging in a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise a day can lead to a healthy heart and general physical wellness. The exercise could be anything from a brisk walk, calming yoga to high intensity training. All you need is 30 minutes a day to get your day started or to wind down the end of a busy day.

2. Time Management

It’s not easy making time for all the important things and people in our lives. Time management is a useful skill to develop in order to organize and plan your day. When your days are well planned out, you are less likely to schedule more than you can handle, therefore reducing your stress levels. You can easily plan your day by prioritizing things and tasks from the most important to the least and sorting activities by deadlines. This is a simple way of making sure that every target and decline is met, while the most important tasks are given ample time.

3. Self Care & Relaxation

Self care can seem like a “trendy” term you only see on posters, in magazines, on social media. However, self care should not be a trend but an integral part of everyone’s day to day life. Practicing self care simply means engaging in things that invigorate oneself. Simply put, it’s the things that make you happy! Make time for you by doing something you enjoy like a hobby (painting, reading, watching a movie, etc), pick up that new skill you’ve always wanted to try out, attend that fun master class you’ve been keen to enroll yourself in, or just add a few more minutes to your nightly routine to take a bubble bath. Things that relax your mind and body, and ease your entire demeanor is a form of self care. Do not shy away from prioritizing yourself and your wellbeing. You are important!

4. Eating Healthy

Part of self care is also making sure you are caring for your body inside and out and giving it all the nutrients it needs to keep active and alert. There are many things that cause us stress that we have very little or no control over. Choosing healthier foods is usually one we can control. Maintaining a healthy diet fuels your body and gives you the opportunity to choose what to put in your body. One easy tip on how to better balance your meals with a busy schedule is meal prep. Prepping your meals once or twice a week allows you to save time on cooking, reduces your chances of eating out (which also saves you money over time), and since most of your meals for the week are already planned, that’s one less thing to worry about.

5. Talk to Someone

Now this is key! Interacting with others is an important part of our development as social beings. Engaging in social activities with friends and family keeps us at ease and reduces stress. Spending time with people we love and care about can do wonders to our general wellbeing. We share things we care about with them as we listen and engage in conversations or things they care about. It is a simple way of exchanging thoughts, laughter, or simply feeling supported when things get tough. Being around other people can help distract from stressful thoughts and talking things through with a friend, work colleague, or  a trained professional can help you find solutions to your stress and put your problems into perspective should you want to address them.

So in managing stress is not always an easy thing to do, but there are many ways of minimizing stress and equipping your body so you can balance and manage what life throws your way. Staying organized and prioritizing your health are easy ways to get started. The most important thing is to listen to your body, don’t ignore signs of stress, make space for rest, and engage in exciting activities.

It is ok to ask for help! Be safe and remember to look after you.

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