We all experience it at one time or another; this trespasser called stress. It is perhaps the number one cause of most health problems in our society today. Here we explore 6 ways you can deal with the stress of life in a healthy and effective manner.
* Talk about the problems you are experiencing with friends, loved ones or a professional. Keeping everything bottled up will only create more problems later on. Talking is a great way to release the inner stresses of a situation and help you gain a better perspective on the situation that is the cause of your stress.
* Exercise often. Go for a walk for 20-30 minutes either every day or at least every other day. Exercise relieves tension and produces a calming effect. Perhaps joining a gym would work better for you. Remember it needs to be something that you will do regularly.
* Yoga is not only a great form of exercise in general for creating body strength. It’s also well known for quietening the mind and creating calm. Sit in a quiet room alone and begin breathing exercises.incorporate meditation in this and you have a powerful combination for relieving stress in the mind and body.
* Music is known to calm the stress beast. Listen to something that either relaxes you or gets you up and motivated. This is a great distraction technique that works wonders.
* Healthy meals can become an important factor in limiting your stress. Ensure you eat three meals a day, and make an effort to avoid too much caffeine and sugar. We’ve all heard the term ‘hangry’ and we’ve all felt it too. Skipping meals isn’t good for either your physical or mental health. Too much caffeine will send your head in to a spin, it over stimulates the brain and can cause what I term as the fast spin on the washing machine affect.
* Sleep deprivation is a big cause of stress. Go to bed earlier. Seven to eight hours sleep can make all the difference when possible. I used to stay up later as it was the only time I got to myself when the kids were younger, but it wasn’t doing me any good in the long run. In fact it was having the adverse effect.
Coping with stress can be challenging. Every day you seem to be pulled in every direction, trying to accommodate others, living in what feels like chaos. The first priority is to take care of YOU. YOU are the thread that holds your family together. If you’re stressed, you won’t be much good to anyone. You need to fill your cup first. You need your cup to be over-flowing so that your over-flowing cup then fills your partners and your kids cups. If you fill theirs first, then there is nothing left for you.
Give yourself a break every now and then. Buy a new outfit; go see a movie; do something you’ve always wanted to do. Your family can take care of themselves for one day. Alone time is just as important to you as it is for everyone else. Think of yourself as a gas tank; eventually you will run out of fuel.
Laughter is a wonderful release. You’ve probably noticed those times when you’ve laughed so hard, you cried. This is probably due to the fact you haven’t laughed in a while, and the tension released through laughter is the best cure-all method for dealing with stress-related issues.
Avoid stressful situations whenever possible. If you are a working mom, it’s probably not the job but the people who are causing you the most stress. Take everything in your stride and remember that it’s not about you, it’s about them.
If you can’t finish a task, don’t worry about it. If dinner doesn’t turn out as you expected, improvise or get a take-away. We stress over so many things that really don’t matter! No-one is judging you anywhere near as much as you’re judging yourself, so give yourself a break and stop being so hard on yourself.
Life is too short; and stress can reduce it even further. Nothing is more important than your health or state of mind. Eleanor Roosevelt wisely said, “No one can make you a victim without your consent.” She was right; it is, after all, up to you.
If you’d like help managing your stress then feel free to book a FREE 30 minute call with me where we can discuss how I can help you further.
As a mum in business I get asked all the time – How do you manage your time and juggle running your business whilst the kids are at home?
It’s simple – BUT it hasn’t always been that way. When I first started out in business, I would dread the school holidays. My stress levels would rise just thinking about it and my anxiety went through the roof.
In all honesty I failed miserably in my first 6-week holiday period. I was miserable, I made my family miserable and my ‘mummy guilt’ was at an all time high. I was way too hard on myself (sound familiar), I tried to be perfect at everything and I very quickly realised that this was NOT how I EVER wanted another school holiday period to go.
SO, what did I do?
Firstly, I stopped being so god damn hard on myself. I changed my self-talk from ‘I’m a terrible mum and a useless business owner’ to ‘I am a great mum, my kids are happy, healthy and have everything they need. I am doing my best which IS good enough and my business is exactly where it needs to be.’
I then changed my daily routine to accommodate my kids and my business so that I could spend less time in my business and more time with the kids. This tool some mindset work and a shift in work pattern, but my god, the difference was AMAZING.
Here are a few things I now do that took me from Chaos to Calm and improved my routine significantly!
1) I get up earlier. Trust me, this one took a little while to adjust to. I’m not a natural morning person. My husband will vouch for that! Getting up earlier gives me the head space I need to prepare for the day. I now do this during term-time as well and it’s been a game changer for me. In the holidays I have two hours to work before the kids get up and I get a surprising amount of work done in these few hours. In fact, it’s become my most productive time of the day. It turns out I am a morning person after all – I just told myself I wasn’t for all those years.
2) Time blocking has become my best friend. I now have set times that I work each day. They are 6am-8am, 9am-11am and 4pm-6pm. It took me a few holidays to get this one nailed and locked in, but my clients all know my block hours during the holidays, and it works brilliantly. The kids know when I’m working and when I’m ‘mum’.
3) My boundaries have always been set right from the very start of my business, but they are adjusted slightly for holidays times. I make sure my clients know them from the off, so there is no confusion and if they know from the start, your clients will accept them. So, make sure you know your boundaries and set them out straight away. Not doing so will almost certainly cause problems further down the line. I also make sure that my kids know my boundaries from the outset. We have a conversation about what is expected, what’s acceptable and what isn’t, so we all know where we stand.
4) Find an Associate who is willing to take on some ‘Associate work’ during the holiday season to take the pressure off and of course allow you some down time knowing that everything is ticking along nicely – You deserve a break just as much as everybody else.
5) Plan your daily activities with the kids. My two are 7 and 9 and they love going to the beach, going swimming and having picnics in the park. These are easy wins when the weather is good, but for the colder and wetter months it’s even more important to plan what your time with the kids is going to look like.
Time Management is one of my favourite topics – I can talk for hours about how to manage your time more efficiently.
I’ll just leave you with this………
We have 10080 minutes in a week. We spend on average 3360 of those minutes sleeping and 2400 working. That leaves us 4320 minutes each and every week.
Still think you don’t have enough time?
If you’d like help with your time management and want to learn how to time block effectively lets jump on a call.
At times like this, our minds like to play tricks on us. Our sub-conscious mind goes into survival mode and wants to protect us from danger.
We must thank our sub-conscious for wanting to keep us safe, BUT we must also separate the FACTS of what’s happening with the FEELINGS we’re attaching to it, in order to regain control over our minds and alleviate any anxiety that begins to rise within us.
Here are my favourite techniques to calming the chaos in your mind;
- Create a list of the thoughts that are coming up. Ask yourself
i. Does this thought serve me?
ii. Is this a positive thought?
iii. Can I do anything to change what’s happening?
2. Write 3 sentences relating to your thoughts that better support you. Take a negative thought, re-frame it and create a more positive statement
3. Clear your mind with 5-10 minutes of meditation each day. Morning and evening are good times for this, as you can attach it to your morning or evening routine.
4. Plan out the things you CAN do and work out what steps you need to take to do them and focus on ONE thing at a time.
5. Do some form of exercise – I love to go for a walk in the forest or run at the gym. Yoga and Pilates are also good for gaining a fitter and stronger mind and body.
6. Write a list of all the things you do have, what you’re grateful for and what you love.
7. Do something that brings you JOY. Self-care is key for calming your mind.
8. Write a list of the things you’ve over-come in your life. We spend so much time punishing ourselves for our mistakes, that we forget about our successes. Recognising what’s gone right will help you refocus your mind on the positives.
AFFIRM to yourself every day that ‘ALL IS WELL IN MY WORLD’
In times of anxiety you may also notice some physical symptoms, sometimes called Somatic symptoms. These can be;
- A tightening of the chest
- Being startled and scared easily
- Rapid heart rate
- Shortness of breath
- Lack of concentration
- Problems sleeping
- Tense muscles
If you feel tension in your body for any reason here is a good positive muscle relaxation technique
Tense each muscle group in the body hard for about 10 seconds and then slowly let go. Allow the feeling of relaxation to continue for 15-25 seconds and continue onto the next muscle group requiring tension. Take notice of how each muscle group feels when completely relaxed in direct contrast to how it felt when completely tensed before moving onto the next muscle grouping.
Tell yourself to ‘relax‘ in your mind as you do it to help you focus. Now, let us look at the muscle areas to be worked during the exercise.
Firstly, clench your fists and then hold for 10 seconds and then slowly release. Relax for 15-25 seconds. Tighten your bicep muscles by actively pulling your forearms up and towards your shoulders and tightening both muscles to the point that the bicep muscle can be seen visibly raised. Hold for 10 seconds then slowly release. Relax for 15-25 seconds. Tighten your tricep muscles, which are the muscles on the underside of the upper arms, by extending your arms out straight and locking your elbows. Hold for 10 seconds then slowly release. Relax for 15-25 seconds. Carry on doing this with every muscle group until you get down to your toes.
Now picture and feel a wave of complete relaxation slowly spreading throughout your body, starting at your head and gradually sinking through each of the muscle groups right down to your toes. Repeat 2 more times until you feel completely relaxed and at peace.
I hope you found this useful and if you’d like any further help you can book a FREE 30 minute clarity call with me or check out my range of services
Some people have a difficult time in managing their anxieties and fears. In addition, a person’s self-esteem and self-confidence can also suffer. As a result, here is a list of techniques a person can use to help manage their anxieties, fears, and self-esteem.
Remember that practice makes perfect. Whenever it comes to dealing with your anxieties or any other task; practice, patience, and persistence is the name of the game. If you don’t get the desired results the first time around, then keep trying until you do. Through practice, you will become better at the task at hand and your self-confidence will increase. This also applies to managing your anxieties.
In every anxiety-related situation you experience, begin to learn what works, what doesn’t work, and what you need to improve on in managing your fears and anxieties. For instance, you have a lot of anxiety and you decide to take a walk to help you feel better. The next time you feel anxious you can remind yourself that you got through it the last time by taking a walk. This will give you the confidence to manage your anxiety the next time around.
Sometimes, we can get anxious over a task that we will have to perform in the near future. When this happens, visualise yourself doing the task in your mind. For instance, you and your team have to play in the championship volleyball game in front of a large group of people in the next few days. Before the big day comes, imagine yourself playing the game in your mind. Imagine that you’re playing in front of a large audience. By playing the game in your mind, you will be better prepared to perform for real when the time comes. Self-Visualisation is a great way to reduce the fear and stress of a coming situation and increase your self-confidence.
Don’t forget to ask for help when needed. A person can only do so much. Asking for help can give us additional resources to help manage our fears and self-confidence. It is not always easy, however as humans, we thrive on being asked to help others and if you ask the right people it will lighten the load. Remember the old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’.
Write down on a list everything that you are thankful for. Do not take anything for granted. The next time you feel down, take out your list and review everything that you have listed. This is a great way to remind us of what we have when we lose sight of the good things.
It can be difficult to manage our anxieties and self-esteem. If you are having trouble despite asking for help from friends and family etc. then talk to a professional who can help you manage your fears, anxieties and self-esteem. They will be able to provide you with additional advice, techniques, tools and insights on how to deal with your current problem. In the meantime, remember to take it one day at a time.
You can book a FREE 30 minute clarity call with me to see how I may be able to help