As I have spent more time on personal development in the latter part of this year (more so than ever before in my career) as well as learning how prevalent anxiety and stress is all around us, I have thought about different ways to help reduce stress. As we get to the end of the year, it is definitely the case that stress levels rise, caused by a combination of
(i) stresses at work around hitting budgets or year end performance reviews;
(ii) personal stresses people feel around finances, especially with Christmas coming up; and
(iii) with the onset of the colder weather people are more susceptible to feeling depressed.
A couple of ways which can help take the stress out of the day include:
- Start the day before
This means setting yourself up for success the next day through getting a good night’s sleep, enjoying downtime from social media and planning the key actions for the next day. How often do you sit in front of the tv and suddenly it is 11pm and you are too tired to do those things you had planned or need to?
‘Getting a good nights sleep”
- Establishing a daily routine
I appreciate some people have extremely busy starts to the day- be it running around after the kids in the morning, sorting out breakfast and getting them to school, whilst others are ‘slaves to the train timetables’ and have long commutes. However, what I have found works for me is to get up a little earlier and pre shower, take 5 minutes to complete a journal (The aptly named “The 5 Minute Journal” https://www.intelligentchange.com/products/the-five-minute-journalis a great tool) to capture:
- What you are grateful for
- Top 3 focus areas for the day
- Daily affirmation
At the end of the day, you can complete the page by recapping the day and what went well and what you could have done even better.
- Get oxygen to the brain during the day
I realised a few years ago that during the day I need to go outside and breathe in fresh air, even if it is just 5 minutes. There is nothing worse than the ‘cabin fever’ feeling when your head spins and your mind becomes ‘foggy’.
If you spend time around negative people who complain about everything – be it the weather, the coffee, the world, politics – this rubs off on you. Be aware and conscious of people like that and don’t get sucked into this negative vortex. Positive thoughts and vibes lead to positive actions and progress.
Not everyone enjoys the gym or going for a run, but we can still incorporate exercise in our days. Ideas such as using the stairs, if at work, walking to someone’s desk instead of emailing or calling them – in other words, get the body moving.
These are just a few examples that I have found to help reduce the stress levels and keep the mindset positive.