I don’t know about anyone else but since the UK has started to “open up” again, I’m feeling more tired than I’ve done in quite a while! Probably because I have more plans than I have done in, well, a year but life has hit me full-speed over the last few months so I’ve definitely had to change a few of my habits to ensure my stress levels don’t rise and I don’t get too tired!
This month’s amazing guest post is from Common Unicorn and I know a lot of you will find it incredibly helpful. If, like me, life has been mega fast paced again recently or perhaps you’re just finding things a little heavy at the moment, this wonderful guest post will give you a helping hand.
A guest post from Common Unicorn
Stress is our body and mind’s normal response to challenges in our daily life. Short term, it can help us perform better when we are under pressure, enabling us to respond quickly to threats and danger. However, constant exposure to stress can pose problems for our overall health.
It is easy to get caught up with work, the news, social media, and many other things that are competing for our attention. An important part of our general well-being is our mental health and how we handle stressful situations, which can additionally be affected during extensive and multiple lockdowns during the pandemic. How to improve and maintain our mental health and stress management should be on our priority list, but still we often neglect it. While we may not always be able to change what causes our stress, we can focus on our reaction and stress management.
We are a result of our habits, whether they are good, or bad. Whether we notice them, or not. By recognizing which unhealthy habits might be draining our energy and are bad for us, we can improve our well-being by replacing them with healthier ones and by focusing on a more healthy lifestyle.
Making simple, yet powerful changes in your everyday routine can drastically improve your overall wellness and quality of life, so why not give it a go? Here are 10 simple and healthy habits you can implement into your daily routine, slowly and steadily shifting your mindset towards a slower, lighter, more mindful, and healthier way of living.
Create a simple, but effective morning routine
How you start each day sets the tone for the rest of that day. Wake up early, give yourself time to wake up peacefully – stretch or workout to wake up your body, meditate, and have a healthy breakfast without any distractions. Set yourself for a more mindful and focused day.
Go to bed early
Tiredness is like adding fuel to stressful situations. Having more energy is the first step in dealing with stressful situations more effectively. Also, in order to maintain an effective morning routine, it is important to get enough sleep and rest the night before. Go to bed early and enjoy your well deserved rest.
Drink water regularly
Your energy levels can be affected by your hydration status, so be sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day. To remind myself, I like to keep a bottle of water on my desk, next to me. This way the bottle is a reminder I should have a sip. If this doesn’t help, you can try setting a couple of reminders on your phone or laptop throughout the day – when you hear the ‘ding’, it’s time for a sip!
Avoid people who stress you out
While some people bring comfort to your life, there are also those who leave you feeling stressed out and emotionally exhausted. The popular term for those types of people – energy vampires. It is important to realize who around you is only draining your energy and leaving you with nothing but the bad stuff. When you detect who that is, it is okay to walk away.
You might struggle, feel guilty, impolite. However, your well-being should come first, and in time you will find a way to detect who influences your life in a solely negative way, and re-consider how you handle them and move forward, leaving them behind.
Practice deep breathing throughout the day
Set your timer for every couple of hours, and pause to have a couple of deep and mindful breaths. All of us easily get caught up and race through the day, this can help you keep yourself more grounded throughout the day and remind you to pause every now and then.
Identify what is causing your stress levels to rise
Sometimes it takes a lot of time until we recognise we are under huge stress or feeling anxious. Using mindful breathing breaks are a tool in helping you understand your state of being – if you’re under stress, taking a pause can help you realize that.
Beside acknowledging your body and mind are experiencing stress, work on identifying the cause. Look at your habits, your attitude about the cause, and the possible excuses you might be making. We often multiply our stressful response by building it up in our mind – break that cycle by observing it and calling it what it is. The purpose is not to minimize what is happening, but to minimize your reaction to it.
Stop taking things personally all the time
It is an exhausting way to go through life. Taking things LESS personally can save you a lot of energy and give you more time to focus on other things which deserve your attention. When we take things personally we are giving certain individuals more power over us than they deserve or should ever be allowed to have – find out here ways to stop taking things personally.
Get regular exercise
Except for having great physical health benefits, exercise can also be a powerful stress reliever and energy booster. So move your body, go for a lunchtime walk, try different workouts, and find the one that suits you best. Spend weekends in nature, hike, ride bikes. Energize and relax your body by moving it more.
Reduce caffeine and sugar
If you adopt healthy habits, while still maintaining the unhealthy ones, not much can be done in managing and reducing your stress levels. Think about reducing your refined sugar intake and the amount of coffee you drink. Besides being your sidekick for stress relief, it can also improve your sleeping habits.
Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
Tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, along with many other harmful health consequences, are also your enemy when it comes to healthy coping mechanisms and relieving stress. If you’re considering sobriety, or you are in your early stage of a sober lifestyle, I recommend checking out these tips here.
These activities are great for those who wish to improve their general well-being. However, if you are overwhelmed by stress or your energy levels are way too low, and feel like you cannot cope, you should seek help right away. Ask help from a health professional, and/or call your local hotline.
With love and compassion, Common Unicorn
Which of these habits do you need to introduce into your own life? Do you have anything else to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!
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