Combat stress by taking some downtime for yourself

Combat stress by taking some downtime for yourself

Overwhelm, stress, burnout… these words can be all too familiar in the hectic helter skelter of our daily lives. If you are a working mum this may be especially true as you juggle the demands of a full-time job and taking care of your family’s needs. As you rush from home to work and back again, you may scarcely find the time to grab a bite to eat, while you have to squeeze in a bit of shopping, not to mention fetching kids from school and then helping with homework, preparing meals, doing a load of washing, and the list can go on and on. Late nights and early mornings may add to the constant fatigue you feel. Perhaps you are living on a routine dose of adrenaline, and at times you may just be plain exhausted to the point of burnout.

Well, before you become totally overwhelmed and burnt out, here are a few suggestions on how to turn things around by taking a deliberate downtime every day to recharge your batteries. If you think you don’t have time, none of these needs to take more than twenty minutes. Give these a try and you may just find that they make the world of difference to the way you feel about your life.

Put your feet up and meditate

If you are one of those people who feel guilty when you are sitting down and “twiddling your thumbs” this may take a bit of practice. Literally put your feet up, whether on a footstool or on a pile of pillows, and then close your eyes and meditate. As your body rests, let your soul and spirit rest too. Literally feel the stress leaving your body and just concentrate on relaxing in every sense of the word and every area of your being. If any guilty thoughts start to intrude, and you think you should be jumping up and carrying on with your to do list, firmly push those thoughts away and enjoy your rest.

Have a long soaking bath

There’s nothing like a good long soaking bath at the end of the day to help you relax. Don’t forget to add some bubbles or bath oils and bath salts. If you feel like lighting a candle or two, all the better. Again, don’t rush… this is not about “getting done” as soon as possible. It is about taking some downtime to unwind the tightly coiled spring of stress which has build up throughout your day. Give yourself at least twenty minutes and enjoy. And when the water gets cold, top it up.

Read a good book before you go to sleep

Everyone needs an exciting, encouraging and edifying story once in awhile to transport you to another world. Whatever your taste in reading, try to have a book or two on your bedside table, and read a few pages before you drift off to sleep. This can help to take your mind off the busyness of the day as you prepare to get some sleep and recharge before you face another day again tomorrow. If you are a bookworm who loves reading you may have to discipline yourself not to stay up too late reading, otherwise you will feel the effects of tiredness the next day.

Go for a run or a swim

Exercise is an excellent way to clear the mind and get some fresh air on the brain. If you are not into running or swimming, try a gentle stroll in nature, or a workout session at the gym. Although your body may feel tired, if you make the effort to get some exercise regularly you will start to feel a positive change for the better, not only physically but also in your emotional and mental states as well. Swimming is especially beneficial as the water gently enfolds your body and you can feel the stress beginning to dissipate.

Keep a journal

Journaling is a favourite stress reliever for many people. A journal is a very personal thing and it can take any form you wish. Some use it to record their thoughts and feelings, while others express themselves through drawings and art, or poetry. Find whatever works for you and spend twenty minutes or so taking your mind off the demands of your life. Feel free to write, draw or color into your heart’s content, simply to relax and record something of yourself on the blank and compassionate pages of your journal.

Listen to your favourite music

Music can be a powerful tool in reaching into the very heart, soul and spirit. Everyone has their own favourite genre, singer or song. Take time to just sit quietly while you let beautiful music wash over you and revive your being from the inside out. Perhaps you feel like singing along, or not. If you play a musical instrument, let this creativity refresh and recharge you as you spend some time making your own music and listening to your own heartsong.

Breathe deeply and pray

Finally, take time to stand in front of an open window, or on your patio or balcony and breathe deeply. Slowly count to five as you inhale, and again as you exhale. As you breathe the fresh air deeply into your lungs, express your gratitude to your Maker for all the blessings that you have in your life. Someone once asked a very thought provoking question: imagine if you woke up this morning with only the things that you had given thanks for the day before, what would you still have in your life? Thankfulness is probably one of the greatest antidotes to negativity and stress.

Practise it every day and you will be amazed at how much you have to be thankful for. As you breathe and pray you can hand over all the overwhelming stress and cares of your life to the one who made you and knows what you need to live this life in the best possible way.

Author Bio:-Rachel Pace is a relationship expert with years of experience in training and helping couples. She has helped countless individuals and organizations around the world, offering effective and efficient solutions for healthy and successful relationships. Her mission is to provide inspiration, support and empowerment to everyone on their journey. She is a featured writer for Marriage.com, a reliable resource to support healthy happy marriages.

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