Whether stress is a personal monster that you battle with on a daily basis, or you simply want to keep potential stresses at bay – there are things you can do to better your chances of success.
The following tips only take a matter of minutes to carry out and could help you to remain calm and in control when stress rears its ugly head.
Before you leave the house
1) Make your bed
This small ritual helps you to keep your bedroom sleep ready – creating a calm environment for you to enjoy upon your return. Carry out this small task every morning after you wake up and you’ll have one less thing to worry about for the rest of the day.
2) Pack a healthy snack
Think ahead to whenever hunger strikes (for us it hits at about 11am when the biscuit tin looks particularly alluring!) and pack yourself a healthy snack. A piece of fruit, some unsalted nuts or vegetable crudité are ideal ways to keep energy levels high in a healthy way.
3) Organise your desk
Tea stained mugs from the previous day, rogue papers and scattered stationary is enough to stress anyone out. Start your working day with a quick desk tidy to help you feel more productive and focused. Once your desk is tidy, write a realistic to-do list for the day ahead.
4) Listen to some music
If background office chatter is distracting you, or you’re starting to feel stressed over an impending deadline, pop your headphones on and disappear into your favourite song. Studies have shown that this helps to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost mood. Create a playlist of uplifting tunes and have them on hand for whenever you feel overwhelmed.
5) Spray a citrus fragrance
Japanese researchers have discovered that linalool (a substance found in lemons) may be able to turn down the ‘fight or flight’ response. If you don’t like the scent of lemons, try juniper, lavender or basil – all of which have been found to lower stress.
6) Move your body
We all know by now that exercise can boost mood, so make sure you take a few minutes out of your day to walk around and do a few stretches. If you’re feeling particularly energetic – why not go for a run on your lunch break?
We mentioned in our recent blog post that meditation has evolved and can help to lower both stress and anxiety, so why not reap these benefits by taking 10 minutes a day to follow your breath and focus on your physical sensations?
8) Note down something you’re grateful for
It could be something as big as your loving family or as small as a lunch break in the sun, just be sure to note down something you are grateful for every day to help you gain perspective and feel calmer.
Take a break from all electronic equipment for at least 10 minutes (preferably before you head to bed) try reading a book instead, or indulge in a bubble bath.
If you are feeling overwhelmed about the amount you have to accomplish the following day/week/month, write a list in order of priority and accept that you can’t do everything at once. Once you have an action plan, you’ll feel more in control and should be able to slip off to sleep easily.