Do you find your ability to deal with stress is reduced lately? Does it feel as if life is just speeding by and you're running from one thing to the next without time to pause and re-group? Have you lost your sense of humour, are feeling more sensitive or just not feeling quite yourself? Have you put working out, exercise and general wellbeing at the bottom of the list as you don't have time?
Well, you are not alone. Despite all the technology that is supposed to save time, people are more stressed and time-poor than ever before.
I know that fact is not "news" by any means. We all know this is certainly the case -- what worries me is that intelligent people who know what healthy living means are not taking the most basic steps to slow it down and reboot their hard drive each day.
At a certain point your body says 'NO'. It may be in the form of a cold or flu, a niggling pain or injury, headaches, digestive complaints, skin disorders, inability to make decisions, insomnia or just the fact your feel EXHAUSTED. By the time it has come to this it is already a reflection of a low immune system and cellular affects of stress.
How can you start right now to help deal with stress and help your body cope with daily mental and physical demands?
It might be time for you to apply the one percent rule. We should all value our health enough to spend at the very least one percent of your 1440 minutes per day on our wellbeing. Rather than taking pills, buying potions and worrying about what's wrong -- lets start right now.
- As you are reading this, pull your belly to your spine, adjust your posture. Soften your eyes and keep breathing through your nose.
- Lift your shoulders to your ears, hold them there as you inhale, then exhale and let them drop. Repeat this a couple of times
- Be present. Concentrate your breath to reach all areas of your body -- from your head to your toes
Start getting the things that worry you off your mind and onto paper. Letting things circle around your head is not constructive. Writing ideas/worries and things that concern you down help make them transparent and you can start to see if you should action certain things that warrant your time -- or just cross them off completely!
Practise the one percent rule daily. If you can't do anything else other than spend 14 minutes a day on some exercises and functional fitness, stretching, yoga or breathing -- then you might want to ask yourself why? You are a reflection of your approach to health and wellbeing.
If you want to be fitter, healthier and happier then YOU alone need to make some cognitive changes to put some actions into place and start practising some relaxation or exercises.
Once you've mastered these immediate actions, think about the food and fun factor.
Some extra stress busting can be done in the form of your daily diet. If you are tired and stressed, take the time to eat healthily and think about the foods you are reaching for. Are they sugary, salty, fried or alcohol-based?
This is also part of the cycle of increasing stress on the body. So take a step back, recognise the signs of being tired and go for some nourishing healthy choices.
Some quick healthy food options: Healthy Food
- Homemade soups, salads, lean protein and vegetables with added fibre and nutrients from herbs, wild rice or quinoa
- Take healthy, fibre-rich snacks for work. Nuts, for example
- If you're eating out, try Japanese, fresh fusion cooking, vegetarian or some new whole food restaurants
Lastly -- it might be time to just have some fun. Call up your friends, do something you love, try a new class or connect with colleagues to take a break during the day. Stop punishing yourself about having everything perfect.
Life is chaotic, it can be stressful and full of demands. The most important thing is to remember to be kind to yourself.
Look around and find small things to be grateful for. Focus on what is positive and those that shine a positive light around you.