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Day 5 of your International Stress Awareness Week Resilience Programme

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Day Five: Self-Love and Self-Care

When you are under pressure and experiencing stress, it can be all too easy to neglect yourself. Losing your appetite, ignoring exercise, and not getting enough sleep are all common symptoms of a bowing and buckling bridge.

Focus on building your self-nurturance skills, even when you’re troubled. Make time for activities that you enjoy.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Gain a work/life balance
    Your job plays an important part in your lives. Whether you work to live or live to work, what you do may give you a sense of purpose, enable you to go on adventures in your free time, or help you support your loved ones. But building your career and putting time and energy into your working life is just one part of your life as a whole. Having a healthy work/life balance sounds easy in theory, but can be tough to master. By making sure you balance your life in and outside of work, you can give yourself more time to de-stress through socialising, building meaningful relationships, making happy memories, and giving yourself much needed time to rest and relax. Start by having periods of your schedule (e.g after a certain time in the evening or on the weekends) when you switch off your technology and you are be fully present to the other aspects of your life – like your family or your hobbies.
  2. Rest, relax and switch off.
    You finished work three hours ago, so why are you still anxiously checking email on your phone? And is it really necessary to hit refresh on Twitter every two minutes when you’re supposed to be winding down? If you feel as though you’re constantly switched on, and are struggling to chill outside of work, then you’re not alone. A recent study of 3,000 UK workers found that 69 per cent are often required to work outside of office hours. It’s no wonder many of us have joined the hoards of the “overworked”. Take up activities that require you to be present in the moment – team sport, yoga, meditation, swimming, mindfulness are some examples. Reading, walking, and social activities are also great examples of how we can ‘unplug from the matrix’. How often are you unplugging and digitally detoxing on a daily basis?
  3. Start moving! When we get stressed our body is preparing for a physical response. Any kind of physical activity burns off the stress hormones (adrenaline and cortisol). It also releases feel good hormones like serotonin and endorphins. It’s not something we always like to hear, but increasing our physical activity will massively benefit our health and wellbeing. According to the NHS, being active helps us to feel better about ourselves and the world around us. It can even help with symptoms of mild depression and anxiety, improve our sense of self-esteem, and lower our overall stress levels. For those of us over the age of 18, we should be taking part in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. It may sound daunting at first, but finding a fitness class you enjoy or that can fit seamlessly into your schedule like cycling to work or walking on your lunch break can have a big impact. And always take the stairs – our office is on the second floor and in the three years of being here I can happily report not a single member of staff has ever used the lift to get to the office – it is only ever used to transport goods!

Some other ideas:

  • Introduce a sleep routine – think of how you may prepare a child for sleep, and give yourself similar attention.
  • Catch ups – Instead of popping round to your friends for a cup of tea to catch up, why not meet up at the local park and go for a walk whilst chatting? You can burn a lot of calories whilst walking and it’s the perfect excuse to have regular catch ups with your friends
  • Do what you love – that way it will be something that is sustainable.

By taking care of your own needs through self-love and self-care, you can boost your overall health and resilience, develop a much stronger bridge (see Day 1) and be fully ready to face life’s challenges.

For further tips on how we can support you, your team or your organisation in building resilience and maximising happiness and wellbeing please get in touch now to arrange a no-obligation consultation with one of my amazing team!

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