How you manage your stress levels is key to maintaining positive mental health. So follow these top tips and make sure you stay in great shape:
Find the balance
Pressure comes in many forms so make sure you balance your time spent in work and your personal life. It isn’t about a 50:50 split. The time you spend on all aspects of your life is an individual choice. The difficulty comes when one area of life puts pressure on the rest. Keep your ‘to do list’ in control, prioritise and leave work at work. Do what you love, be fully present and enjoy every moment. Make sure you get your values met – in your relationships and in the culture in the organisation you work in. If things aren’t flowing you may need to consider some changes.
When we are busy sleep can be one of the first things that we do without. DON’T! When you enter deep sleep your body, major organs and brain recharges and regenerates. It is also when you enter into REM sleep (Rapid eye movement), which is the time when you dream. Dreaming allows your brain to discharge all the things that it hasn’t been able to resolve in the day. It is a way of clearing the mind so you have space to tackle what the next day has in store. Do without it and you are on the road to depletion.
Relaxation is key. Find ways to switch off from your ‘to do list’. Be fully present in all that you do. Drop the thoughts of all that you still have to do and your focus on regrets from the past. All they do is fill up your mind and send you into a spin. Nurturing time with family and friends, yoga, meditation, mindfulness techniques and creative hobbies will help you to wind down.
It might sound obvious but movement and exercise is key. Your endocrine system is your body’s way of removing toxins. It only works when you move! You don’t have to spend an hour in the gym. A regular good brisk walk for even 10 minutes will see you with huge health benefits and is something that everyone can fit in to a lunch break.
When you have an energy slump the obvious thing is to reach for chocolate, biscuits and caffeine. All that does is peak your blood sugar in the current moment and then you will experience the slump and feel worse. When you need a boost of energy rather than your usual ‘go to’, go for protein. A handful of nuts or seeds will give you the essential boost over a longer time. Have a healthy balanced diet and healthy snacks. Moderation is the focus. Drink plenty of water and limit caffeine, alcohol and sugar.
Everything in balance is the key to building your resilience and enabling you to handle the pressures of the day. When you can do that and keep a level of calm, you will be able to manage what the day has in store for you and keep a positive approach to your mental health.