by Dawn Antestenis, Fresh Start Women's Foundation
Stress can affect all of us, making day to day activities and demands harder to cope with. We become more and more exhausted, tense and irritable and others can begin to find it hard to be around us. Feelings of being overwhelmed are common and at times it feels like we may never regain control.
Through accepting the reasons for feeling stressed it becomes easier to focus on steps to take to minimize your stress levels and to learn to cope with feeling stressed.
What works for each person is different but the list below is a great starting point when you are considering ways to minimize stress in your life:
Consider Small Changes
There may be some things that you cannot change about the circumstances that are causing you to feel stressed, but there may well be small changes you can make that will make a big impact for you. If you are overwhelmed at work can you prioritize your workload, discuss time management, get support from your supervisor, work less hours?
Relaxation is an important part of relieving tense muscles and calming your mind. Massage, deep breathing, and listening to the relaxing sounds of a waterfall while sitting quietly can all be helpful. Try something today to help you relax.
Take Time Out For You
Try to take some time out of your busy day to do something just for you. Treat yourself to something you enjoy!
Physical movement and exercise can boost your mood, self-esteem and body image, improve sleep and reduce reactions to stress. Know yourself and don’t overdo it – start with a 10 minute walk around your neighborhood and see how you feel!
Get Some Sleep
If you are finding it hard to get a good nights sleep try sticking to a routine of going to sleep at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every day. Avoid drinking a lot late at night, and spend some time ensuring your bed is comfortable and your room is not too hot, cold, or noisy.
Talk to someone about how your feeling - a good friend, your supervisor at work, family. You may be surprised to discover that others are feeling the same way as you, and that those around you are there to support you.
Start a New Hobby
This can be a great way to get you out and about, get moving, and meet new people. A new interest can also be a great distraction from how you are feeling and promotes a healthy work / life balance.
In Your Own Time
Try to pace yourself and tackle one thing at a time. Be realistic about what you expect of yourself. Learn to say ‘no’ to other people, some of the time at least. Set aside time for yourself to do what you enjoy.