When it comes to stress, we often take it as an inadvertent, inconvenient fact of life.
“I am so stressed! But, we all don’t have a choice, right?”
“I had to stay in late at the office everyday this week. So stressed out, but what’s new?”
“I did not even have time to eat my 3 meals this week!”
“I am so exhausted but cos I am so stressed, I cannot sleep properly at night…”
Do we hear any of these from our friends, or use these refrains ourselves?
You may have heard that there is good stress, and bad stress. Good stress can be a motivator to excel and accomplish more in the day. However, all the complaints stated above are examples of bad stress, cos of the negative repercussions on your body.
Short of quitting your job (which, realistically speaking, you can’t), you can and should manage your stress properly so that your body doesn’t break down from it. Work is part of life and some OT days are to be expected, but what you do throughout the day, before bed or when you wake up, can help you minimise the negative effects of stress. Many people who are stressed out suffer from tension headaches and body aches. They may also get anxiety or panic attacks, and sleep poorly. Consequently, they medicate themselves to cure these ailments but because the root cause of the stress is not addressed, the pains and emotional distress recurs.
These 5 medicine-free tips will help you negotiate your stress from from the root, so that you don’t crack from the recurrent pressure!
1) Get off social media
We think we are taking a break when we hop onto social media, when the reality is that we are not. Scrolling through our news feed and keeping up with what our friends are up to inevitably leads to envy and some degree of FOMO. We worry about curating our own feed so that we present the best version of our lives. Studies have also shown that social media tends to breed compulsive and obsessive behaviour. If all these don’t make you want to put a stop to your social media habits, you’d want to know that quitting social media would help tremendously in reducing the stress of not having enough time. Most people spend on average 2 hours a day mindlessly browsing on their social media networks – imagine what you could do in those 2 hours you’d free up! Go for a jog, make a healthy meal, meet up with a friend over dinner… An additional 2 hours of time a day to get stuff done would really take the pressure off not having enough time!
2) Take breaks throughout the day
Stress builds-up throughout the day, as we get about doing our work and trying to accomplish what we set out to do. Making a conscious effort to take frequent breaks from our work would help tremendously in managing stress, and letting the accumulated stress dissipate a bit. Take a walk to the pantry to get a drink. Walk out to the rooftop garden for some fresh air. Close your eyes and give yourself a quick head massage. Stand up and stretch. Listen to a song. All these small breaks help reset your focus and keep your stress levels in check throughout the day.
3) Slot in a massage
As stress builds up over the week, it would become increasingly difficult to ignore the physical effects on our bodies. Our muscles tense up and get knotted. We sleep poorly and wake up feeling tired. Our brains are always buzzed up, thinking about that never-ending To-Do list. One of the best ways to release all that pent up stress is to go for a body massage over the weekend. A good rub-down can help ease the tension and also help unblock the lymphatic system so that toxins will be efficiently flushed out. Our menu of body treatments will definitely fit the bill! This month, book yourself in for our Ignite Coffee Flush Treatment at a special promotional price of $88 for 3 sessions. Say goodbye to stress and cellulite with this detoxifying treatment!
4) Pick up a book
Reading an actual book can help reduce stress because the act of doing so forces you to unplug from your digital device and focus on the physical text in front of you. Reading expands the imagination and helps us see things from a new perspective – both very helpful in enabling us to stop spiralling into a cycle of mounting stress by going at it with a fresh mind. Fiction also has the added benefit of taking us away from reality, transporting us far away and taking our minds off our day-to-day tasks and work.
5) Go outside for a walk / jog / cycle / swim
There is something cathartic about working up a sweat, breathing in fresh air, feeling the warmth of the sun. Of course, gym workouts are just as intense and you’d get the shot of endorphins wherever you work out, but the ambience of working out in the great outdoors cannot be beat! Get your heart pumping and break out a sweat with a brisk walk or a jog around your neighbourhood. Hop on your bicycle and feel the wind on your face as you push yourself. Visit the neighbourhood pool and swim with the sun warming you up. Doing these not only helps you work away the stress, you also feel good about yourself as these are very healthy habits to keep yourself in good shape.