Did you know that being in a constant state of stress can literally age you in minutes? If you’re too tense to enjoy your life, it’s time to de-stress and take things down a notch.
Mental conditioning coach, Gielie Hoffmann shares his top six ways to de-stress and revitalise body and mind. These natural fixes will help you get back on track and feel good from the inside out.
How to de-stress fast:
1. 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, question all the activities in your daily planner. This will force you to consider what’s really important.
Secondly, carve out free time that’s not designated to anything specific. This will instantly make you feel as though you have more time in the day, and suddenly your week will seem more doable, as you’ll have the energy to get things done. If the inevitable happens and new things pop up, you can accommodate them without going into “damage-control mode”.
Did you know that the most productive times are the first and last 30 minutes of your workday? If you use the last minutes to plan for the following day, and decide what you need to do, the next day starts with less anxiety because you know what to expect. We all love feeling in charge!
2. Focus for 90 minutes
A great way to avoid distractions and get more done in the day (hence de-stress) is to schedule a 90-minute pocket somewhere in the day, preferably during the morning. Then use the time to finish the tasks that’ll provide you with the most momentum, satisfaction and energy.
If possible, stay away from e-mails, 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, so long as you 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 on the weekend, for instance. 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 all 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, says Gielie. 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. To help you achieve this- prepare better for bedtime. Make your room dark, have a bath, don’t allow your mind to race 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. This, in turn will bring down your overall stress levels.
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, believes Gielie. 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 e-mail. 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 to feel overwhelmed sometimes. 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 or family member. Putting your emotions into words, releasing it, getting some outside perspective and a possible solution is sometimes all you need.