Lifestyle tips – stress reduction

To dial down feelings of stress, focussing on a healthy lifestyle is as important as building in exercise and relaxation time.

This course encourages you to take breaks during the day for movement and mindfulness practices. We also include here some suggestions for lifestyle tweaks that may help. Some may be more relevant to you than others and some may resonate with you more than others, but even making one positive change could help.

Of course also try to support yourself with a healthy diet, being careful about your intake of alcohol and caffeine, and if you have simply taken on too much to cope with, think about practical changes that you can make at your home or at work to reduce the load.

Stress dial down toolkit

When taking a break from busyness, can you spend a moment checking in with yourself to consider what you need most to help you move onto the the next stage of your day? Can you create a morning routine and an evening routine to support your wellbeing as well as using tools to decompress during the day?

How are your hydration levels? When we are busy it’s easy to lose track and to not drink anything for long periods of time. Dehydration can increase feelings of stress so it is worth developing a routine to ensure that you are drinking enough water.

Are you spending most of the day indoors? Getting outside really helps to decompress so often as you can, take a short break for a change of scene and for fresh air. It is a particularly useful habit to build into your morning routine, as as early exposure to daylight can help to reset your sleep patterns.

Are you static for most of the day? This can result in a build up of tension in the body, particularly the neck and shoulders, and can make you feel tired and weak. Taking regular breaks for exercise is recommended, and a focus on your step count would be a useful part of this. Even better if your steps can be taken outside and in a setting where you can appreciate nature of some sort, which has proven beneficial effects.

On returning indoors, if you are using essential oils to enhance your working or your home environment, take a moment to recharge your diffuser, dab a little oil onto pulse points or spray onto your pillow at bedtime.

Many people feel that drinking caffeinated coffee or tea increases feelings of stress and uneasiness, so if you are trying to dial down stress levels it is worth excluding these for a time and substituting with decaffeinated or herbal options  to see whether that makes a difference.

And listening to music can be a great  way to either energise, particularly if you can sing or dance along, or to relax. Do you have go to artists, genres or tracks that you can use at different times of day?

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