Earlier this week we gave you three top tips for managing stress (having a massage, exercise or doing breathing exercises). Now we want to give you some more of our top tips, as there are so many fantastic options to consider.
A balanced diet
Come on, you knew it wouldn’t be long before we’d have to address the sticky topic of diet. We all know that when it comes to stress our appetites (and therefore our diets) can take a severe hammering. Some people lose their appetites completely, which of course is far from ideal when it comes to keeping your energy levels up.
Equally, some people simply can’t face the thought of preparing food – or shopping, for that matter. Inevitably, as the body still needs fuel to survive, that means they are more likely to snack on whatever is closest. A packet of crisps instead of lunch. A quick takeaway burger on the way home. Coffee to help get you up and functioning after yet another bad night’s sleep.
Any of this sounding familiar?
The reality is a well-balance died (low-fat, high-fibre, carbohydrate-rich meals) are a great way to keep your energy levels up. Throw in a good mix of fresh fruit and vegetables to help boost your immune system, and suddenly things are starting to look a little better.
No one is going to suggest that food alone is going to cure your stress – it won’t. That bar of chocolate won’t cure anything, any more than a nice green salad will; however, food that is nutritionally rich will give you a boost, maintain your glucose levels, reduce your mood swings and generally increase your energy.
Start following a routine
Stress can be very disruptive, so thinking about setting yourself a strong routine can be a good way to start to instil some order and control back in to your life. This is especially true when it comes to your night time routine, where sleep is one of the first things to be affected.
Consider having a warm, relaxing bath before going to bed. Perhaps sitting and reading, instead of playing computer games or watching the television. Avoid using your phone, or participating on social media in the hour before you attempt to go to sleep. Equally, don’t eat late!
Remember, your routine is for YOU, not anyone else – so consider the things that are likely to help you relax, unwind and enjoy some downtime before you go to sleep. As always, what works for you may not be the same thing that works for your partner or best friend.
It’s good to talk
Whilst it’s a great idea to try and find positive ways to manage your stress, and provide you with some much needed relaxation, it is always worth considering whether talking to someone might help. The reality is that talking can often help you find ways of dealing with the stressor itself – finding methods of removing the situation – rather than simply dealing with it.
Consider whether you can talk to your friends or family about how you are feeling. Not only to get their advice on the coping strategies they use, but also on the situation itself that is causing you stress. If nothing else, letting them know how you are feeling is always a positive thing to do.
Equally, talk to your manager or boss, especially if you feel your stress is being caused as a result of your job or the work environment.
Finally, you may want to consider talking to your GP. They may be able to suggest some additional strategies, or even refer you for counselling or talking-therapy which may be hugely beneficial.
Remember, we are People Matters because YOUR people matter.