I want to start with a little metaphor, something that I hope will get you all thinking about the everyday stresses – big and small – that you deal with in your lives. And then three simple things you can do to manage stress.
‘A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they’d be asked the “half empty or half full” question. Instead, with a smile on her face she inquired, “How heavy is this glass of water?” The answers called out ranged from 8oz to 20 oz.
She replied, “The absolute weight doesn’t matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it’s not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I’ll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn’t change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes.”
She continued, “The stress and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them for a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything.” Always remember to put the glass down.’
Stress management is so important, especially today when our lives are so busy, online and constantly switched on. So I’ve decided to share three simple tips that might help you manage those day-to-day stresses – whether they are big or small.
It really is part of the solution to so many things. Exercise is proven to help you release endorphins that release a positive feeling in the body. If the idea of exercise instantly makes you feel overwhelmed – remember you can start wherever you like. A simple walk around the block or a few minutes in the comfort of your living room. It doesn’t have to be a grand event like a class or running club. If you are starting off, start small. But the benefits are huge. Not only does it go a long way to helping your stress levels, but it will also help your body and your mind.
2: Switch Off Your Phone
If you are feeling a little stressed, put your phone down. We are all far too switched on between phone calls, text messages, emails and social media. Our minds don’t get a second to de-clutter. On top of that there is an amount of negativity we are consuming from being online that will only add to our feeling of stress. Be very careful how you do spend your time online and maybe put little “pockets” of your day aside where you have no phone at all.
3: Have a “Soul Day”
This is what I call a day (or even a few hours) of doing what I know makes me happy. It might be as simple as a walk with the dogs on the beach, or even ordering a pizza and watching some Netflix. A “Soul Day” is my way of making me-time a thing. And it’s so important. With family, work and day-to-day responsibilities – how often do you actually give yourself the time you need and deserve? Call it your Soul Day or call it anything you want – but name it. It makes it official and it makes it officially you-time. Then schedule it in like you would any other appointment and make sure you spend time for you.
I hope these three little tips will help, we all need to remember to put the glass down.
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