Ever felt like you don’t have the time to eat, exercise, or interact with friends and family? Have deadlines and responsibilities chained you down in more ways than one? Do you spend most of your time at work with little activity? Are all these situations creating a stressful environment and draining you of your energy and mental health?
If your answer to the above was a yes, it is time you addressed these issues. Coping with expectations at work and at home can be taxing. While these are important, remember that nothing is worth it when it comes at the expense of your health.
The simplest way to reduce stress is to keep your mind at ease and your body healthy with simple lifestyle changes and time management. Letting go of bad habits and introducing a few healthy tweaks can help you rekindle your relationship with your mind and body!
Here are a few changes you can make to reduce stress:
- Always start your day with breathing exercises or meditation which can keep you calm. You can practice the different forms of Pranayama or some basic stretches that reduce stress and keep you energized throughout the day.
- Spend some time to plan your tasks for the day. This will keep you more organized and prevent any last-minute rushes that could lead to stress.
- Avoid gadgets as much as you can. Use them only for work or as and when needed. Relying too much on your gadgets can cut you off from the real world. Overindulgence in gadgets is known to cause depression as well. Limit your usage timings or fix a particular time for them. Avoid them at least for an hour or two before sleep.
- Set alarms for water intake: Dehydration affects the level of cortisol in your body. Cortisol is a stress hormone that not only affects your mind but your body as well. Maintaining water levels in your body can help you reduce stress.
- Walk whenever possible: If your workplace is at a walking distance, then walk or cycle rather than using a vehicle. You can even walk while taking calls, after lunch or take a few short walks in between work. Walking releases endorphins which elevate your mood, it also improves your heart rate. Remember to choose stairs as opposed to escalators or elevators as it is the best and easiest form of exercise!
- Take a break: Spend some time with family, relatives and friends. Having a healthy social life is important to form deeper connections and make life more meaningful.
- Plan a trip or a vacation with your close ones. In fact, you can even go solo! A change in environment and meeting new people will help you exchange thoughts and ideas, boost your creativity and help you be more positive.
- Eat fruits everyday: Different fruits provide different nutrients that help reduce stress. For instance, Bananas have Tryptophan, Avocados have Vitamin B, Sweet Potatoes have Potassium and Magnesium, all of which help in bringing stress levels down.
- Indulge in hobbies irrespective of how busy you are. Hobbies help you relax. Whether it is a sport, listening to or practicing music, traveling or painting, set some time aside to do the things you love and your life will be enriched!
Remember the old saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”? It’s true! Take some time out for yourself. If you’re only working and aren’t playing then are you really living? Your work targets can be achieved, your relationships with your friends and family can be sustained but only if you are healthy. Make physical and mental health a priority!