Ease the Stress
As the lockdown continues, I find myself moving through a whole range of emotions and feelings on a daily basis. Anxiety, sadness, relief, worry, joy, appreciation, disappointment, to name but a few. Dealing with them is not always easy and I often wonder how others are coping, especially those less fortunate than myself.
Stress is a killer and South Africa is the second most stressed country in the world, according to a 2013 Bloomberg survey. Our bodies are designed to cope with a certain amount of stress and it could even help us to break out of our comfort zone and achieve our goals. Constant exposure to high levels of stress on the other hand, can lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pain, sleeping disorders and stomach issues. Which is why it needs to be brought under control.
- Don’t procrastinate: Face your problems head-on and take action. Use this as a way to learn and develop.
- Learn to delegate: There is no shame in asking for help or assigning tasks to others.
- Be realistic: Nothing lasts forever and most problems have a solution, Be creative and sometimes putting pen to paper brings clarity. Step-by-step planning often helps one realise that there is a solution.
- Organise and get rid of clutter: Never before has this been more important. We are cooped up, often with inadequate space, with family members who are also needing some time to themselves. Work, homeschooling, play and exercise all have to happen in this same space. Clutter brings stress! Also, remember something that you no longer need may be useful to someone else.
- Rest and relax: Establish realistic routines: getting up, mealtimes, chores, work, homework, rest, bedtime and relaxation all have to be taken into account. Meditation has also been proven to be a great stress reliever.
- Know when to get help: Act before your stress levels get overwhelming. Friends, family members, a psychologist, reading materials or other certified healthcare professionals, all have a place, so use them. You are not alone, so reach out if you are sinking.
- Appreciate what you have: Value the small things, be grateful and think about those less fortunate than yourself. Find peace in the fact that you are with people you love. As far as possible avoid people and situations that make you unhappy.
Things to avoid:
- Alcohol and illegal substances
- Binge eating
- Unprescribed medication
Things to do:
- Take time for yourself
- Avoid overworking
- Make time for hobbies and interests
- Exercise regularly
- Allow yourself to feel emotion
- Cry if you need to, in order to let things go