It was the fifth day in a row that Rita hit the bed at 1.30 am. She was extremely tired but all she could think of was the pitch presentation she had to give to the client the next day. The team had been working on it for a fortnight now and their effort just had to pay off. Lingering in another part of her mind was her fiancé, who she hadn’t had a proper conversation with for days because of being caught up with work. And then there was the constant tension about clearing her bank loan. How was she supposed to sleep? She was clearly stressed!
Just like Rita, all of us today go through constant tension and pressure due to the things going on our lives. Research shows that as compared to the last decade, teenagers today are 38% more likely to have trouble remembering, 74% more likely to suffer from insomnia and twice as likely to have seen a professional for some or the other mental health issue. College students are 50% more likely to feel overwhelmed while adults are more likely to confess that their sleep is restless, they have poor appetites, and everything around them simply feels like a drag. All these are classic psychosomatic symptoms of stress and depression.
In today’s modern world, driven by technology, fear, and competition, we tend to get caught up in the whirlwind of material achievements and forget the true meaning of happiness. One fine day you realize that things are not in your control anymore. Surviving on overdoses of caffeine all day with lack of proper meals has ruined your physical health and your mind has been so preoccupied with deadlines that you have simply not had time to think about yourself.
You have to make this stop! Take a step back and plan the 24 hours of your day well, this will help you be on track and not have a haphazard schedule. Apart from work deadlines, set personal deadlines for yourself such as going to bed at an early hour and providing your body with enough nutrients for the week. Engage socially – talking face to face with other human beings releases hormones that reduce stress even if you are at the peak of an extremely stressful situation. Opening up to people makes you feel light, regain the morale to push yourself and accomplish the task at hand. Spend time with kids. Their simplicity and innocence will add new meaning to your life.
Indulge in physical activities – walking, running, swimming, dancing, aerobics classes and any such activities which require both your hands and legs will act like instant stress busters. In turn, they will also help you in keeping a track on your daily health parameters. Ensure that you take the annual check-up which comprises of all the basic tests for your body. Keep a check on your blood pressure, heart rate, blood sugar level, types and number of surgeries in the past and your weight. You can use your smartphones to good use to manage your health and fitness.
Eat a healthy diet. Well-nourished bodies are better prepared to cope with stress. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, reduce your caffeine and sugar intake, add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and cut back on alcohol and nicotine. And lastly, get plenty of sleep. Feeling tired can increase stress by causing you to think irrationally. Get a good night’s sleep and it will automatically help you keep your cool in stressful situations.
I agree, these things look very obvious but try practicing these diligently and you will make a huge difference for your mood, energy and how well you can handle stress.