Stress is our body’s way of responding to physical and emotional demands. It can be a good thing when it releases chemicals that give us an adrenalin boost.
But when it is caused by emotional demands and our bodies are unable to get rid of the extra energy it can leave us feeling sick, tired and unable to think clearly.
Here are our top ten tips for managing your stress levels.
1) Exercise Regularly – a great way to control your stress levels is physical activity. It can clear your mind, boost your feel-good endorphins and sidetrack you from the daily grind. It can also improve your sleep which often suffers when stressed.
2) Relax – Its not hard to learn some simple relaxation or meditation techniques. The most important thing is to try to increase your awareness of your body and focus your attention to something soothing.
3) Do something fun every day – It may sound’s simple, but doing something every day that gives you pleasure will get you feeling good and give you some work/life balance. Really savour the moment so that you intensify your enjoyment.
4) Manage your work – its when you feel like you have no control over your work that you begin to feel stressed. Try to avoid unreasonable deadlines and minimise boring or repetitive work. Always take breaks and create boundaries between your work and your own time.
5) Leave work on time – turn your emails off for one hour a day, it will let you focus on your activity and you’ll get it done quicker.
6) Don’t regularly take work home – Don’t take actual work home and try not to let work issues bother you once you get home. If you really don’t need to work, keep the laptop and the work phone OFF.
7) Say ‘no’ more often – Some people find it really difficult to say “no” even when they are extremely strapped for time. One easy way to start to say no more often is to not automatically say ‘yes” to every request but say, for example, ‘let me think about that’. It will at least give you some time to consider the consequences before you commit.
8) Ask for help – It’s OK to ask for help – it’s the most obvious way to solve a problem. Don’t feel guilty about asking for help – the most successful people in the world have usually been assisted by many others on their way up!
9) Talk to someone – Talking it over is one of the best ways to deal with stress, it doesn’t have to be a professional – it could be a close friend or family member or a work colleague. If you feel you need help of a professional nature, talk to your doctor or a counsellor.
10) Postpone major changes – It’s difficult to manage major life changes when you are feeling well, let alone when you are feeling stressed. Postpone any major changes such as moving house or changing jobs until you are feeling better and more able to cope.
Source: This is an edited extract from ‘Top 10 Stress-busters’, available from AFA Care and Benestar at https://benestar.com/. For more information about accessing AFA Care resources available at Benestar please visit https://www.afa.asn.au/afa-care