6 Simple ways to stay calm
Have you felt stressed or frazzled at all in the last week? Hmm, me too. Between work, household chores, updating numerous social media accounts, being the perfect partner and/or parent and cooking “Instagram perfect” meals, when do we actually have time to truly relax and feel calm, peaceful even? It’s so easy to forget about ourselves in our busy and increasingly complex lives. But when run down, panicked and stressed is your new normal, it’s time to start listening to your body and take action.
Feeling calm reduces our stress, which in turn helps us to maintain good overall health and a more positive mood. When stressed, we experience chemical and physical changes to our body. Moreover, directly affects our functioning on a day to day basis. In times of extreme anxiety, adrenalin floods our bodies, causing rapid heart rate, high blood pressure and weakened digestive and immune systems.
To help ourselves, we need to become better at regulating our lives by looking for and recognising signs that all is not well. Once you learn to recognise it, you can be proactive and change bad habits before worry builds and takes over your life.
Here are 6 ways to help tackle the stress and keep calm:
Make a list
Making a list has multiple benefits. Firstly, the very act of writing things down helps relieve tension. By emptying your thoughts onto paper, people often experience a sense of release – one less thing to worry about and remember. Lists also help us prioritise and differentiate between minutia and what really matters. Writing lists help us identify steps we need to take and in what order, making our brains feel less overwhelmed and chaotic.
Communicate with others
Not just with anyone, we mean your person or people. Those in your lives that know you. The people who are supportive of you. Who have time to give and leave you with that warm fuzzy glow after a catch up. When feeling stressed we often tend to isolate ourselves, which goes hand in hand with low mood and even depression. Don’t sit at home alone feeling anxious and burnt out. Pick up the phone and reach out to someone that cares (remember, a problem shared, is a problem halved).
Take a break
Do something for yourself and give your mind a break from worrying. Set aside some ‘me’ time and be strict with yourself – this is not a time for concern. This is a time to relax, indulge and do something that makes you feel good. Whether it be 5 minutes of meditation, a walk on the beach, a yoga session, or a stolen half an hour curled up with a good book. Whatever it may be, it really doesn’t matter. Just do it and enjoy it.
Exercise & diet
Eating highly processed foods or food which you are intolerant to causes an inflammatory reaction and places direct pressure on your body. We can help ourselves by eating clean, getting the right vitamins and minerals daily and by paying particular attention to our magnesium intake. Magnesium rich foods, when consumed daily, helps our nervous system witch from ‘flight or fight’ mode to ‘rest and digest.’ And then there’s exercise – we all know how important exercise is for that endorphin release. So quit the excuses and go for it.
The quality and amount of sleep you get plays a huge role in how you cope with day to day stresses. Get a good night sleep by establishing a routine of getting up and going to bed at roughly the same time each day. Create a place of tranquillity – avoid excess clutter, change sheets regularly and invest in a good mattress. Make sure you wind down and clear your head before trying to sleep (reading or meditating are always good.)
Cut out technology
Have a cut-off point each night where you put your phone away, out of sight. Technology has us more connected than ever. However, when the stress of feeling forever available, always on the go, and not able to ever fully switch off. The blue light emitted from our phones affects our melatonin levels. In turn, this can disrupt sleep patterns. Have at least an hour of phone free time before going to bed each night – perhaps use this time to switch off and read that book that’s been on your shelf for the last 6 months. Be sure to turn your phone on ‘flight mode’. (This cuts of the radiation.)
Staying in control of your stress doesn’t have to be another thing to worry about, it’s all common sense really. Always remember, you’re not alone in this – we all get stressed out. It’s just a matter of handling it in a healthy way.