Stress Reduction Tips for Busy Professionals
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Self-care involves looking after one's physical and emotional health. This may include activities such as taking a bath for relaxation or practising meditation. Generally, any activity which relaxes both mind and body can be classified as self-care.
Kelsey Patel, a Los Angeles–based wellness expert, states that self-care is key to managing daily stressors like long hours and a full list of responsibilities. Self-care activities should be tailored to changing needs and preferences; what relieves stress one day might not be as helpful the next. For instance, yoga may prove useful as a stress reliever in one instance, but not so much in another.
According to Brighid Courtney, a faculty member at the Wellness Council of America, self-care leads to many benefits that are beneficial for busy professionals like increased productivity, lower stress levels, and improved self-esteem. Too much stress can negatively affect work performance by slowing you down or preventing you from working altogether. To reduce stress levels and experience the many positive benefits of self-care, keep reading for some helpful tips.
6 Self-Care Tips to Relieve Stress
Aside from scheduling your daily routine in such a way that it creates the least amount of stress, it is still important for you to have a way to relax and unwind. One possible means to do so is through meditation as it can reduce stress, improve focus, and boost overall mood. Set aside a few minutes daily to practise mindfulness or use a meditation app.
Spend Time to Exercise
Exercise can help you feel centred and happy. According to an article published by Harvard Health Publishing, regular aerobic exercises can stimulate and relax your body. Additionally, clinical trials have proved that exercises may also help relieve anxiety disorders and clinical depression. Therefore, it is a good idea to add some physical activities to your daily routine. Some examples include taking yoga classes or spending a few minutes walking around.
Cultivate Healthy Eating Habits
Your diet plays a crucial role in stress reduction. Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are essential in ensuring you have enough energy to cope with stressful events. However, Karen Hemmes, a registered dietitian at Banner–University Medical Center Phoenix, advises that you should avoid processed and sugary foods as much as possible as they can increase your cortisol levels, the hormone primarily responsible for stress.
Spend Enough Hours Sleeping
Aside from meditation, exercise, and a healthy diet, giving your body time to rest is crucial in recharging your batteries and reducing stress. According to Mark S. Aloia, Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at National Jewish Health in Denver, lack of sleep can make you more susceptible to the effects of stress. Make sure to get at least 7–8 hours of sleep each night and establish a regular sleep schedule.
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
Working all the time can be unhealthy for your mental and physical health. Make time for activities that are not work-related, such as having hobbies like painting or hanging out with friends and family. Doing something outside work increases productivity, boosts morale, and reduces stress levels.
Give Yourself Time for Breaks
Going through an 8-hour shift without taking breaks is unhealthy. Breaks are essential for your body to recover and maintain its focus, as well as prevent stress from building up. In fact, regular breaks can help you stay focused and productive throughout the day. You can take a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, go for a quick short walk, chat with your colleagues, or simply take a few deep breaths.
4 Stress Management Techniques
Practise Proper Time Management
When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and having difficulty with your tasks, it is possible that you have poor time management. Without it, you can experience high-stress levels. Try using techniques such as the Pomodoro technique or time blocking to manage your time more effectively.
Know When to Ask for Help
While it is admirable to be able to do things without the help of others, it is also important to know when you can't do it on your own. Ideally, it is during times like this that you should delegate tasks to others. This can help you reduce your workload and stress levels.
Don’t Be Shy to Say "No"
Much like knowing when to delegate work to others is important, saying "no" to additional responsibilities is also necessary for maintaining your mental and physical health. Practice setting boundaries and prioritising your own needs.
Consider Asking for Support From Colleagues or Professionals
If you're feeling overwhelmed or when the going gets tough, don't be afraid to ask for help from your colleagues, friends, or family. In fact, you can even consider seeking a professional. Talking to a counsellor or therapist, or simply reaching out to a family member or friend can be a great source of support and help.
Self-care is essential for improving productivity and reducing stress. Prioritising yourself can lead to a more meaningful life, so focus on both your physical and mental health, and don't be afraid to ask for assistance whenever you need it.
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