Following on from Part 1 and our Cortisol blog, we explore the two other points raised in the main blog to keep your stress and therefore cortisol levels down in your body. It's time we used the tools at our disposal to limit stresses influence in our daily lives.
Relax & sleep well
Everyone can be guilty of this at times, the thinking that taking that hour or two to actually treat ourselves to a relaxing time is so counter-productive and just adds pressures onto the rest of the hours to do everything. STOP this thinking, it's okay to relax and take some time for ourselves without adding pressure onto the rest of life.
Take the time to relax and enjoy yourself without that guilty feeling, it's a great way to lower our stress levels and bring our cortisol back into balance. Take short breaks if you're worried that longer breaks will interfere with your days. Look at taking up ideas such as meditation, yoga or just a few deep breathing techniques to help you relax and bring your emotions back into line. These are great and easy crafts to start and not time consuming on the individual.
The final bit and a big favourite is sleep! A full 8 hours sleep is a fantastic way to lower our cortisol and lower our stress. Now we all know that stress can be a disruptor of sleep at times, so we can take steps to reduce the effect it can have on our sleep.
Keep a pen and notepad next to the bed - We shut our eyes and our mind can run wild trying to keep us awake. If you find yourself going through this, write it down on the pad ad eliminate it from your mind onto the paper. By keeping it in our minds we can force anxiety onto ourselves and therefore keep us awake.
Routines are key - Something simple we can all do and can be a great aid. Mine is to shut the flat down, lock doors, turn of plugs etc and then once in bed I stick on a song or video on my phone and leave it at that. I find this stops my mind from wondering as it focuses on what I'm listening to and helps me drift off to sleep. Find what works for you!
Take naps - If you can find the time to have a power nap every now and again do so. This is a superb aid to sleep, whether it be to catch up on time lost or to simply recharge the batteries. Keep them short though, napping for hours can be detrimental and create the opposite affect making us lethargic.
Little things add up
Whether these are little forms of pick me ups or just habits that keep us calm and focused through the day. When we form those good habits it can really help keep us balanced and stress down. Whether they are activities, simple routines or external factors it's important that we realise just how these can be positive attributes.
Keep moving - Find yourselves sitting for long periods of time? Get up and walk around every so often.
Stretch - Simple yet a bit of quick and easy stretching can help relax and loosen tension.
Take compliments - We can be terrible at times for turning down compliments or being embarrassed by praise, don't be. You are/did fantastic and you should accept them with confidence.
Keep comfortable - Avoid putting yourself into stress positions where possible, physically and mentally. If you find yourself in nervous situations, do those habits that aid in reducing it whether it's chewing gum, drinking water etc.
Keep stress at bay and take control..