Ways to Support a Busy or High Stress Lifestyle
It’s no secret that in this day and age we seem to get busier and are constantly adding more things into an already jam-packed schedule. While this is the new norm and you might be able to cope with it, your health and wellbeing can’t keep up with it alone. Constant stress elevates cortisol (stress hormone) levels in the body and over long term periods can affect your health through the development of problems such as chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, emotional breakdowns and hormonal imbalances.
While cutting back your load is easier said than done, trying to find the right balance between working hard and still looking after yourself and enjoying life is extremely important. Prioritising yourself may take practice and time to establish but is much easier to implement when you are organised and pre plan it into your schedule. While it would be nice to have regular weekends away, for most of us this isn’t manageable which is why small, continuous and consistent efforts are the best way to counteract the constant stress.
Here are a few simple things that you can implement into your busy schedule to help you feel more balanced and stay healthier:
- Prioritising regular and quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellbeing. The National SleepFoundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night. Not enough sleep can result in tiredness, low energy, burnout and health complications.
- Regular exercise is extremely important for keeping fit and healthy, it also helps your body to produce endorphins (feel good hormones) which can counteract the effects of high stress and keep you feeling relaxed and happy. Exercise is a great release when constantly stressed and help you to handle things better.
- Switching off technology and having some screen free time can work wonders for your emotional state. By constantly being contactable via phone or email we don’t switch off and have a break from work, giving yourself that screen free time not only gives your eyes and mind a break but also allows you to focus your energy on the more important things such as loved ones and fun activities.
- Eating a balanced and healthy diet not only fuels you to get through the day but it also provides your body with the nutrients it needs to thrive and keep everything in balance. Nutrient deficiencies can enable the body from producing the hormones it needs to stay happy and healthy.
- Getting outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine not only gives your body the dose of vitamin D that it needs but can also clear your mind and help you feel calm. Being in nature reducesanger, fear, and stress and increases pleasant feelings. Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress
- Implementing mindfulness techniques and meditation are great practices which help to counteract stress and help your mind and body relax and let go of the tension. Some simple ways to do this can include practising daily gratitude via thoughts or a journal, using a mindfulness app, yoga classes, meditation at home or in class, mindfulness colouring in and focusing on breathing.
Although we cannot control everything that comes our way in life we can control how we handle it, therefore by looking after ourselves we are giving ourselves the ability to be able to handle things and choose our responses. While implementing these tips may seem daunting, start with just one a day until you feel ready to implement more and before you know it you’ll be feeling healthier, happier and handling life better.