5 Ways to Reduce Stress
Our lives are hectic. As women, we often feel pressured to work ten times harder, longer, and better than our peers, colleagues, and classmates in order to succeed; we are expected to wear multiple hats, navigating each one efficiently. This undoubtedly leads to extremely elevated levels of stress. Stress is linked to harmful consequences like hypertension, weight gain, hair loss, acne, and poor nutrition. On our journeys to become better versions of ourselves, it is imperative that we moderate our stress levels. Below are 5 ways to help alleviate the process.
1. Make sure you’re getting an adequate night’s rest.
8 hours of sleeps seems extremely overrated, old-fashioned, and many times unrealistic given our busy lifestyles. The intersection of housework, career goals, academics, personal interests, and bustling social life seems to outweigh a healthy night’s rest. And while being constantly on the go may seem opportune, and at time glamorous, undoubtedly takes a toll on your health. Sleep deprivation not only contributes to a lack of alertness, but also memory loss and cognitive impairment. Ultimately, your inability to focus will lead to stress. Stress and sleep deprivation create an unceremonious concoction of irritability and poor health.
Technology seems like it should be more help than harm. Yet the way we use technology dissuades us from relaxation and instead promotes an unhealthy mentality of “always available.” Frankly, the constant mindset of “always available” prevents us from setting important boundaries that tell others when it is and isn’t ok to impose on our time. For example, if you are consistently responding to emails at 9pm, you are setting the expectation that you will reply late at night. The same can be said for weekends and holidays.
3. Identify what you can and cannot control.
We cannot control everything that happens to us. What we can control is how we respond to it. Instead of becoming flustered at the first sign of confrontation, disgruntled clients, or faux pas, take a moment to breathe, process, and then react. You’ll find solace in understanding the difference between the controllable and uncontrollable.
4. Schedule your day realistically.
Keep lists short to two or three crucial tasks and let the rest of the day simply fall into place. Prioritize by what needs immediate attention and what can wait. At first glance, it may seem as though all tasks require immediate attention, but this simply isn’t true. If you’re in a position where a manager or supervisor assigns work to be done as soon as possible, use open communication to clarify which project deserves more time. As a rule of thumb, always prioritize you health first!
Much like the first point, exercise seems to been a redundant tip. But, in the words of Aristotle, “It is not once nor twice but times without number that the same ideas make their appearance in the world.” That being said, exercise is just as important as sleep. Studies show that those who habitually participate in aerobic and anaerobic activity have more energy, a friendlier disposition, and emanate positive vibes – all factors that negate stress.
Remember, elevated stress hormones can lead to social anxiety, restlessness, chest pain, and fatigue. While there are more than just these 5 de-stressing suggestions, start with these and then develop more in the future.
Do you have any relaxation tips? Let us know in the comments below!