Two thirds of Americans say they are stressed out at least once a week. One third of Americans feel chronically overwhelmed.
Stress makes us sick and affects our relationships and our careers. Chronic stress leads to serious illness, even death.
What is the problem?
Over 50% of professionals in the U.S. die prematurely from stress related disorders.
85% of medical problems may be stress related.
Do you experience: headaches, indigestion, chronic fatigue, heart palpitations, smoking, allergies, depression, drinking more than planned, migraines, sleep problems, PMS, and muscle tension ??
WARNING: Working over 55 hours per week erodes your health and affects productivity.
IT IS VERY STRESSFUL TO BE OUT OF BALANCE
Here are four steps to becoming more balanced in life and work:
1. Fuel up for peak performance.
Eat like a champion. Break-the-fast and fuel up for full effectiveness. Fruit, protein, whole grain cereal and bread, low fat dairy. Don’t forget fiber. Power lunch-Salad, protein; fat, starch and vegetables. After 7p.m.,Keep dinner simple. Fish and vegetables always a good choice. Eat small, frequent meals to keep your metabolism up and working. Limit caffeine to two beverages a day and sweets and alcohol to mealtimes. The less food processing the better. Drink plenty of water to wash toxins out of the body. The most visible and annoying sign of chronic stress is gaining weight around the waist. Even slender women under stress develop belly fat.
2. Manage stress throughout your day.
When stress is out of control we tend to overeat, drink too much, hyperventilate, get moody or close off from people.
Mental stress busters- Talk yourself down, adjust expectations, make a plan for change.
Emotional stress busters-Vent, laugh it off, turn on music.
Physical stress busters-walk, take deep breaths, turn off the adrenaline with frequent breaks, and limit your caffeine.
Health coping after work- exercise, gardening, stretching, talking to a friend, yoga, playing with your kids, hot bath or shower, sex, breathing exercises, meditation or prayer, relaxation tape, reading, napping, or pets.
Be physically active for at least 10 minutes three times a day.
Remember that when there is no physical outlet it is like swallowing dynamite-all the damage is inside. Chronic stress can be a factor in hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, colitis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and clinical depression.
Never underestimate the healing power of touch to sooth, calm, and restore the human spirit.
3. Plan your day with a end point.
Do you regularly take work home, get home late, miss family events, talk on the phone while driving, multi-task, double book your schedule, miss meals, take on more responsibilities, find yourself taking medication to get to sleep.
Go off duty at a regular time. Transitional activities such as walking the dog, changing clothes, or spending some time with your kids are good ways to do this.
Put energy into important relationships. Give/receive love. Live as if the people in your life are of the utmost importance. Make special days really special. Have a date with someone you love.
4. Get a good night’s sleep.
Create a sleep routine that restores and rejuvenates.
Relaxation is of utmost importance when winding down for the day. A nice hot shower will help relax muscles and your mind. Aromatherapy such as body lotions and oils or candles, incense can help. Music, laughing, time with friends and family.
Critical for the management of weight, stress, and immune system function sleep is the bodies way of shutting down and regrouping. People tend to not take sleep seriously but it is the difference between a healthful life and all types of disorders. Plan for 7-9 hours of sleep and rest daily.