News

17.08.2009 Stress Busting

Stress Busting

Most people tend to only associate stress with major life issues such as financial hardship or divorce, but a huge amount of our anxiety comes from minor day to day annoyances. When these build up they undermine our natural ability to cope, leaving us feeling tired, irritable and making stress more infectious.
 
Here are some stress busting tips to help you reduce stress in your life:
 
 
At Work:
Stress, anxiety and depression have now overtaken physical illness as the most common cause of long term absence from work. So how can we help ourselves to de-stress at work?
 
Learn to delegate
Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's not being a failure, it's good team work.
 
Plan your day
Use your journey to work to write notes and plan your day. Experts say that half an hour of uninterrupted work time is equivalent to one hour's work chaos in the office.
 
Set boundaries
Switch off your work brain at the same time as your work mobile when you leave for the day.
 
Take a break
A walk around the block or some deep breathing can help clear your head, keep you calm and give you a new perspective.
 
One job at a time!
It is easy to become overwhelmed when you are juggling tasks at work. Try to finish one job at a time and don't set unnecessary deadlines giving you additional pressure.
 

At Home:
Money and housework are the two biggest things that stress people out. Half of us argue with our partners because of the levels of clutter in the home.
 
Clear out your home, clear out your mind
Having a big clear out will go a long way to helping you de-stress. So pack up all those clothes you haven’t worn, books you haven’t read and toys that have lay neglected over the past 12 months and drop them into a charity shop. Not only will it be therapeutic but you get to feel good about helping others too.
 
Tidy every day
Just a 15 minute tidy each day will make a difference or get yourself a rota so that your home time is organised and everyone pitches in.
 
Friends and Family
Friends help us see things in a different way. Just making time to relax and have fun with friends is a good way of bringing contentment, a sense of belonging as well as helping to reduce stress levels and boost the immune system.
 
Make time for YOU
Whether it’s a relaxing spa treatment after work, a coffee with a friend, or even a hot bath with your favourite bubble bath, a pampering treat is sure to bring your stress levels down.
 
 
Letting off steam:
Exercise not only protects you against stress but is also a great stress buster as ‘feel good’ chemicals released in the brain help to keep energy levels up and help defend the body against stress.
 
Gym? No way!
You don’t have to sign up to an expensive gym and slog away on the treadmill to get some exercise. Find a way of exercising that is fun and achievable. Any activity is good, whether its walking, bell ringing or even house cleaning, you arestill being active and that is great for stress relief.
 
Get outdoors
The great outdoors is the best place to exercise as natural light and fresh air will boost your energy levels and your ‘feel good’ factor.
 
Rope others in
Doing active things with friends and family makes exercise something to look forward to, and you all get fit to boot!
 
Count those steps
Even five minutes here and there is going to make a difference to how you feel so get a step counter and find ways of increasing your movement throughout your normal day. The easier the activity, the more likely you are to do more.
 

Feed your body and your mind:
Our bodies and our minds cope better with stressful situations if they are getting the right foods. A lack of essential vitamins and minerals can cause a variety of problems such as a lack of concentration, fatigue and low mood. Why not try replacing some ‘comfort’ foods with some stress busting foods including:
 
Eggs
They are full of so many different stress relieving nutrients that they are a fantastic all rounder.
 
Vitamin C
That's fruit and veg, aiming for five portions a day. They are full of antioxidants which help repair the damage caused by stress.
 
Carbohydrates
Bread, pasta, rice and potatoes trigger the release of ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain. And the experts say that carbs present in one baked potato are enough to relieve the anxiety of a stressful day.
 
Red meat
Is full of vitamin B and brilliant for boosting levels as it pumps oxygen around your body.
 
Water
Water needs to be at least 80% of your fluid intake daily. Many people feel stressed because they don't drink enough, but drinks like coffee, coke and alcohol aren't good as they release adrenalin which actually increases your level of stress.
 
 
Your body:
Stress can take its toll on the body and skin in many ways. Stress is a high-energy user, and also uses lots of toxins. If your skin and body are low in nutrients and energy, there will be a decline in the quality of your skin and in your energy levels.
 
Dryness, blemishes and a grey pasty-looking complexion, tiredness, irritability and poor concentration are all signs of stress.
 
Grab a moment
If you feel things are rushing you by, sit back and take four or five deep breaths, using your lower abdominal muscles to get an instant de-stress. After a while, your body gets so used to breathing deeply whenever it goes into stress mode that you’ll do it without realising.
 
Knead out those tensions
Having a massage can help if you are starting to feel tired and drained, and could be just what you need to push all the tension away.
 
Don’t feel guilty about taking time out for you.
We all need to turn off from time to time. Do something you enjoy which fits into your life, whether its reading, listening to music, doing yoga or meditating. It doesn’t have to take long – or be considered a luxury or time wasting. It is a vital part of life.
 
 
Good night:
Head on the pillow but sleep still along way off? One of the side-effects of stress is the inability to sleep, which just makes us even more stressed, tired, irritable and unable to live life to the fullest. Here are some tips to help you nod off:
 
Make sure your bedroom is not too hot, cold, noisy or light.
 
Don't eat or drink too late as it will over-stimulate you.
 
Have a warm bath before bed.
 
If you wake in the night with a thought, write it down as it stops you thinking about it.
 
Don't think you won't sleep - think positively about it and you will...
 
 
                                             Stress Busting Link: www.stressbusting.co.uk
 
 
The fully integrated Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) is one of the most effective ways of tackling stress in the workplace.  To discuss the integral benefits of implementing an EAP or just to obtain some indicative EAP pricing, please feel free to contact us at service@workforcewellness.co.uk
 
 
 

 

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