National Stress Awareness Day – 1st November
Stress can impact all aspect of our lives, leading to symptoms such as sleeplessness, increased of decreased appetite, muscular tension, headaches and migraines, irritability and lethargy.
Chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes can also negatively impact stress levels.
So what is the best way to minimise this on a daily basis?
– Drink in moderation
If you choose to consume alcohol, do this in moderation. Don’t consume more than 14 units of alcohol each week, and if this much is consumed, spread it evenly throughout the week with at least 2 consecutive alcohol free days.
– Get good quality sleep
Aim to have 7-10 hours of sleep each night. Invest in black out curtains and be sure to switch off phones and laptops at least an hour before going to bed. Limiting alcohol and caffeine intake will also be beneficial.
Drink 1.5-2 litres of water each day. Drink more than this if you take part in exercise or have a physically demanding job.
– Eat a balanced diet
Avoid processed foods such as biscuits, cakes, crisps and ready meals. This will help you to maintain a healthy weight, reducing your risk of developing a chronic health condition such as diabetes, which as previously mentioned, can exacerbate stress levels.
– Exercise regularly
Participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week such as brisk walking or cycling, plus at least 2 days of strength exercises. Alternatively, your 150 minutes of moderate exercise can be replaced with 75 minutes of vigorous exercise such as running.
– Quit smoking
Smoking can increase stress levels – speak with your GP for support in stopping.
– Limit your caffeine intake
Have no more than 400mg of caffeine each day – this is the equivalent to approximately 4 cups of coffee each day. Be mindful that drinks from places such as Starbucks can contain significantly more caffeine than this.
– Weigh-in once a week
If you are keeping a close eye on your weight, only measure this once per week at the most. Daily weigh-ins will not give you an accurate representation of your weight as daily fluctuations are a common occurrence. Aim to consume a healthy and well-balanced diet to keep your weight stable.
– Balance your professional and social life
Making time for family and friends is just as important as succeeding within the workplace. Having a balance is the key to stress-free living.