Steps to achieving a calmer life

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When we’re not glued to our smartphones, we’re most likely flustered and stressed trying to complete a daily task or frazzled and rushing to take on a new one. But being on the go constantly isn’t good for our wellbeing and it’s important we take some down time and find some time to just be ourselves. Wellness expert Jacqueline Harvey, has teamed up with RESCUE Remedy to offer her advice on living a more balanced life.

 

Mind

  • Although it is the last thing you’ll want to do, slowing down can help you to achieve more and divert your focus more towards difficult tasks. If we try to speed up when stressed, we actually tend to increase the risk of errors and the time taken to correct these leads to more work and subsequent delays.
  • Often sometimes when we look at the huge pile of items to be completed, we feel overburdened and don’t know where to start a task but once you start to break down a task into smaller components and act upon them once at a time, the whole job appears more manageable and easy.
  • Some of us are morning people, others late afternoon or evening – work on your most challenging tasks for a short period of time, say 2 hours, whenever you feel most focused and refreshed.
  • Always allow more thinking time for a task to be completed instead of hurrying – again the aim here is to reduce errors and perform better.
  • Try not to use your phone, iPad or computer from at least 3 hours before you sleep – some suggest the blue light emitted from the screen can disrupt the normal functioning of your body and reduce sleep.

 

Body

  • Start your day by doing at least 15 minutes of a simple breathing technique or listen to relaxing music. This can help to reduce worries caused through negative thoughts in the morning. Positive affirmations and visualisations help to programme your body in a more refreshing and healthy way.
  • Gentle exercise in the morning or evening after work like walking and stretching, reduces stress hormones and relaxes both the mind and the body. Resist the temptation to perform high intensity workouts as these will only further increase levels of apprehension.
  • Help your mind and body to recover from a hectic day by aiming to sleep at least 7 – 8 hours per night. Sleep helps keep you healthy in body and mind – a lack of sleep can cause cognitive problems throughout the day and mood problems outside of work, affecting all our relationships. If sleep is disrupted, lower all stimulants in your diet like coffee, tea & alcohol; and this includes all technology, watching the television or talking with friends late at night.

 

Emotions

  • Limit your exposure to social engagements for a few months – if you have been feeling compromised for a long period, plan meetings which are essential and decline the rest. You’ll be surprised how supportive your friends and family will be when you take time out to reclaim your energy.
  • Plan or book ‘rest periods’ into your diary, ‘this can be at the weekend when you can choose to see no one and just have a few hours of ‘me’ time. This is not the time when you have to catch up on work or a hobby, take calls or reply to emails, instead it is the right time for you to take a nap, think, walk, sleep, read a book or listen to relaxing music. The aim here is to relax and breathe deeply without the feeling of being chased all the time – over time it will help make you more relaxed.