Get RESTED: Effective strategies to manage stress

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Adding stress to our lives seems easy enough. It's getting rid of it and managing it that's the tough part. We have a magic word for you that's bound to reduce some of that stress. Read on for more.

Tips to reduce stress and stay calm

The big S word: STRESS

Stress has become a malady spanning individuals of all ages and from all walks of life. We live in an ‘instant ‘ time where everyone wants something instantly. Too many expectations from us and the tension of living up to them takes a toll on our mental and physical well-being. Do you remember the last time you went for a relaxing walk or just stood in your balcony watching the world go by? Do you keep reminding yourself about that one day you will pick up the paintbrush to paint or start swimming? Our guess is… NO. That world ceases to exist.

Ways to minimise stress

To tackle stress, the first step is to acknowledge that you are feeling burnt out and your enthusiasm for things you previously enjoyed has deteriorated. So when you feel the stress creeping up on you, remember to feel RESTED.

R—Relaxation:  Incorporate relaxation into your day. Be it a hobby or meditation, make sure you spare a chunk of time to read your favourite book, watch that television serial or call a friend who matters.

E – Exercise:  When it comes to the human body the old adage ’use it or lose it’ holds good. Being fit has numerous benefits and helps ward off illness. To add to that, you’ll look great and your clothes will fit better too.

S—Sleep: Sleep is one of the most neglected areas of our lives in this day and age. A good nights sleep is something a lot of people yearn for. Caffeine, heavy food causing indigestion and alcohol all interfere with sleep. Having a set bedtime routine, avoiding excess television and having a warm glass of milk at bedtime aid blissful slumber.

Check out these 15 great tips to beat insomnia.

T—Time management: Organising your time goes a long way in keeping stress at bay. Maintain a daily and weekly organiser to avoid forgetting important stuff. Do what needs to be done in order of priority. In other words, do first things first.

E—Empower yourself: A positive attitude ensures that you are empowered and in control of your life. A wise person once said, “Life is 10 per cent what happens to you and 90 per cent how you react to it.”

D—Diet: Watch what you put into your mouth. Caffeine, sugar and processed food all make you feel low after an initial energy boost. Switch to healthier options like green tea or a fruit for a mid-day snack instead. Minimise eating out and junk food while including soups and salads for a more balanced meal. Substitute white bread with brown or the multi-grain variety.

To conclude, stress in small doses is a good thing. Before it spirals out of control we must try to listen to our body and guess its needs. Remember to take the time out for yourself, laugh a lot and don’t sweat the small stuff. Go ahead and do what makes you happy, after all you only live once.

Written by Dr Nisreen Nakhoda, General Physician

Photograph by Rales, via sxc.hu