I was looking for quotes on how to deal with stress but all I could find were pictures that said things along the lines of “stop feeling stressed, and start feeling blessed” – enforcing the belief that stress is something you can just switch on and off; something that you choose to do.
There is a lot of material out there on anxiety and depression for those who want to read it but when it comes to stress there doesn’t seem to be as much. Stress is a silent killer, and one that we currently aren’t taking seriously enough – it’s considered a normal part of life, something you need to deal with.
The doctor’s treatment for stress? Take 2 weeks off work…well that doesn’t quite fix the root of the problem does it? It might temporarily take away the source of your stress but in due time you’re gonna have to go back to work.
Well, there are ways to combat stress and no I’m not going to tell you to “get over it” or “deal with it”.
So here are my top tips –
1. Sleep! Go to bed early and make sure you get 8 hours of sleep. Try to avoid caffeine after 8pm so no coffee, tea or coke etc. Excess caffeine and a lack of sleep make us produce more of the stress hormone Cortisol.
2. Exercise regularly. Regular exercise reduces stress and helps you sleep better by using up all of that pent-up energy your body stores. When you exercise regularly your mind works as well which means it will be a lot quieter when it comes to bed time.
3. Eat good food. By this I mean to go for quality food first – fresh fruit and veg, good meat and fish (if you’re inclined in that dietary way) and of course treat yourself now and again. Depriving yourself leads to binges and feelings of guilt -thereby adding to your stress. Let yourself have stuff now and again without feeling guilty and you will feel much better.
4. Talk. Talk to someone, tell them how you’re feeling. Complain your heart out. It’s much better out than in.
Stress getting on top of you? Check out http://www.pobl.org.uk/ for someone to talk to.