Image Credit: César Astudillo
Adult humans lead busy, busy lives. Whether you're working more than one job, have a long commute that depends on public transportation, or are trying to juggle your occupation and family time each and every day. These activities of every day life cause us an immense amount of stress. Is your train going to be on time? Did you make sure to pack your kids lunch? What are you going to have for dinner tonight? Can you afford your next months rent? What about that oil change thats past due? If you’re like most of us, any amount of stress that you can cut out of your life helps you to become a more efficient, powerful, and overall more enjoyable person to be around! Here are 5 things we do each day that stress us out, stress management techniques that you can easily do to improve your way of life.
1. Sleeping In
If you’re a typical 9 to 5er, one of the more enjoyable parts of your job might be that it allows you a bit more time to sleep in to say, 7 or maybe 8 in the morning before getting ready and rushing off to work. Before you ignore my advice, take a moment to realize something. When you are off to work, are you frantically speeding your way through traffic, or running to catch the next train or bus? All of this causes unwanted stress. To easily eliminate this stress from your life, try waking up earlier in the morning. Now, definitely do not try to start waking up at 5am cold turkey, but try 20 minutes earlier for a few days, then bump it to 40 minutes earlier, until you find a time you can wake up peacefully, calmly and enjoy your morning before heading out the door. Waking up a bit earlier gives your mind a chance to process what you have going on for the day, and helps you to prioritize and establish a to do list. You can also use this time to get in a bit of exercise if you wish, or enjoy breakfast with a loved one.
2. Checking Email After Hours
Email has become one of the most convenient and easiest ways to stay in contact with people. Most of us have at least one or two email accounts that we check frequently throughout the day. Heres why this causes stress: Frequently checking email after or before work seems like a fine idea at first, whether your trying to stay on top of your game or trying to impress a boss. But soon enough, you’ll notice you begin interrupting your personal life if you’re constantly hitting the refresh button or glancing down at your phone after the work day. Try to pick a time throughout the day, maybe take about an hour and set this time as your “email hour” and get through as much of your inbox as you can. Once the hour is up, simply save whatever is left for the next day. Once you make this lifestyle change, you’ll begin to notice how much more time this frees up so you can begin enjoying the company of other, real people in your life…Or perhaps it allows you to take up new hobbies.
3. Not Exercising
Exercise is probably one of THE most powerful stress reducers, energizers, and it sets the tone for how your entire day will play out. For people who don’t have a regular exercise routine, it might seem like a waste of time. You’re a busy person after all, right? This might be so, but the truth is, if you really care about your work life, exercise is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to boost productivity and release stress. Rather than treat exercise as another optional chore, schedule regular exercise into your life each and every day. Now, I’m not saying it’s time to get a gym membership or pay for anything you know you won’t stick to…Try at least going for a walk or quick jog every day. Maybe change it up and begin taking yoga classes, pilates, or challenge yourself to begin a weight training regimen. Rather than telling yourself that you plan to exercise more, simply schedule a bit of exercise into your every day life. Your body, mind and spirit will only become more efficient, relaxed, and ready for anything life throws at you.
4. Eating Garbage
Along with exercise, what you put into your body is just as important, if not more important than how you move your body each day. Food impacts brain function, hormone levels, bodily functions, I could go on and on! In our countries bustling cities, food is hardly scarce. There are convenience stores, grocery stores, restaurants and cafes as far as the eye can see. We are never more than about 5 minutes away from finding something we can use to satisfy hunger whether that be the 7-11 around the corner or your kitchen pantry. With this abundance of food, it’s now become easier than ever to mindlessly eat whatever looks or tastes most appealing. Since humans are wired to want the most bang for our buck, we prioritize foods that contain sugars and fats more so than say, cruciferous veggies and lean proteins. It’s easy to see why so many of us go about our day eating cereal for breakfast, a donut or muffin at work, fast food for lunch, and pizza or a frozen dinner entree for dinner. By focusing on consuming foods that nourish your body AND your mind, your hormones begin to stabilize and you can regain control over how well you perform, focus and live throughout your busy life.
5. Not Making Any Time For Yourself
At the end of the day, it’s important to realize you weren’t born to work, sleep, work, sleep, work, and so forth. There is so much that goes on in the world around us; you only begin harming yourself when you don’t take the time to enjoy all of the beautiful things life has to offer. From traveling to different parts of the world, trying new foods, meeting new people, and experiencing new things…Life is too short to revolve around work. Of course, it’s easy to enjoy life and work together when you are truly doing something you are passionate about, but for those of you not at that stage yet or are still finding your passions, make sure to spend time doing things that you truly enjoy. Set aside time each day to spend time crafting, making music, enjoying a good good book or movie, anything that takes your mind off of work so you can actually be a human. This gives your mind a break, and helps you to be more productive in the long run.