6 ways to de-stress

Mental conditioning coach, Gielie Hoffmann shows us 6 ways to de-stress. So you can have time in your day to relax and get back on track.

sres1. Give yourself more time

Clear your head. Rebuild your schedule and allow yourself 25% breathing room in your day.

We all know that things change, life happens and suddenly a full schedule without any flexibility becomes a reason to stress. Firstly, questioning all the activities in your daily planner forces you to consider what is really important.  That will help immediately.
Secondly, having time that isn’t designated to anything specific gives you some much-needed hope.  Your week then seems more doable and you have time to get the things done that you scheduled. If the inevitable happens and new things pop up, you can accommodate them without it pushing you into damage-control mode.

The most valuable times of the day could be the first and last 30 minutes of your workday.  Why?  If you use the last minutes to plan for the following day, deciding what you need to do and lining things up to do those tasks smoothly, the next day starts with less anxiety because you know what to expect.  We all love feeling in charge!

2. Focus for 90 minutes

We all know the difference between important work, urgent work and routine work.  Between that and the distractions offices and the Internet brings, it’s possible to go through the day, wondering what you actually did and accomplished along the way.

A great way to counter this is to schedule a 90 minute pocket somewhere in the day, preferably during the morning, in which you do the work that’ll provide you with the most momentum, satisfaction and energy.

If possible, stay away from emails, cell phones, meetings or social activities in that time.  These 90 minutes must give you a sense of accomplishment and become a haven you look forward to daily.

3. Revive your energy levels

There’s nothing wrong with spending energy, as long as we put some back.  This week, try to schedule at least one physical and one creative activity that’ll make you feel energised afterwards. Take the dog for a 20 minute walk every day and watch a movie somewhere during the week.  Or read a good book or magazine 30 minutes before you go to sleep or relax with an hour of yoga or Pilates at the end of the week.

We want our bodies and minds to be our biggest assets.  If we’re strong mentally and physically, we can cope better with the pressures of daily life.  Be realistic and schedule it – otherwise it won’t happen.

4. Get more shuteye

The trendiest word in psychology these days?  Sleep.  It’s making a huge comeback!  For the next week, try to sleep at least 30 minutes more every night.  But before doing that, prepare better for bedtime.  Make your room dark, have a bath, don’t allow your mind to race before bedtime and put away all the technology.  This way, you’ll get to sleep easier.  Add 30 minutes, if possible an hour.  And suddenly you’ll start waking up feeling more rested.  Which in turn will make you more effective the next day.

5. Have more quiet time

We’re more connected than ever and it’s not a good thing.  It distracts us, splits our attention and keeps us from getting things done.  Furthermore it causes anxiety. This week, take one morning, one afternoon and one evening where you completely switch off all technology.  No social media.  No email.  No Whatsapp.  No TV.  No radio.  Cut back on the stimulation and communication and use those three hours to engage purposefully with your work, your colleagues, your family or yourself.

6. Stress strikes. What now?

It’s natural that we sometimes feel overwhelmed.  But there’s no need to stress about stress.  Whenever you feel that you’re overstressed, get some perspective by asking yourself:  What is my biggest source of anxiety right now and what can I do about it? Somewhere we were taught that it’s not good to share your anxieties or uncertainties.  When you feel a bit stressed, talk to somebody about it.  A friend, a colleague, no matter whom.  Putting your emotions into words, releasing it, getting some outside perspective and a possible solution is sometimes all we need.

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