I love this time of year. Most people (fortunate enough to have had leave) are relaxed after their December holidays, and work is not as frenetic as usual. With the madness of the previous months behind us, we're convinced that this year will be different. Alas, sometime during the course of the ensuing months, with the holidays a distant memory and workloads increasing, stress creeps in.
Stress can motivate us to get things done, but it can also be the cause of a number of problems such as high blood pressure and emotional upheavel - irritability, anger and depression. And since this is only the beginning of the year, we've highlighted some ideas below that we think might help in keeping your life relatively stress-free during the upcoming year:
If you're not already a member, make sure you join the nearest Virgin Active
Exercise is a known stress-reliever (have a go on the punch-bag and you'll know why) and a brilliant way to a natural high (thanks to those feel-good endorphins released during a good workout).
Breathe deeply like you would do at the end of an exhilirating aerobics class. Inhale for a couple of seconds, stretching your arms
high over your head, and then exhale.
Write down your goals
Set yourself clear goals, and make sure you write them down. We feel more accountable once things are down on paper. Decide what needs to be done and by when, and as soon as you've achieved a goal, tick it off.
Read an inspiring book, and incorporate what you have learnt into your day-to-day life. It's amazing how good one can feel with a little inspiration and motivation!
Give yourself 'me' time
Dedicate a certain amount of time to doing things just for yourself and no one else. In this way you're looking after yourself, and you'll be less likely to buckle under pressure strains.
Find a new Hobby
Whether you enjoy artistic releases like painting or pottery, or alternative forms of relaxation like drumming or fire throwing - try something new. Just doing something totally different invigorates the soul.
Learn to say 'no'
Decide what you will and will not do, and learn to say no to people. You needn't always be in everyone's favour - you'll also manage what you do have to do more efficiently in this way.
Spend more time with your family
This has got to be one of the most important things we can prioritise. A happy family means less stress at home.
Explore new places
This doesn't mean that you have to take an overseas holiday - simply take time out to visit landmarks in your city or town. Soaking up some culture in a museum, enjoying a picnic at the beach, or spending a weekend away will hopefully take your mind off your stresses.
Exercise & Stress