Take regular breaks. Our bodies work best on a natural cycle of around 90 minutes activity followed by 20 minutes rest. The further away from this natural cycle we get, the more stress symptoms we exhibit. So take a break in the middle of the morning, the middle of the afternoon, and at lunchtime. You will get more done in less time and the quality of your work, as well as your health, will improve.
Cut down on caffeine (in coffee, tea, chocolate and cola). Caffeine mimics the effect of adrenaline in the body – the less coffee you drink, the less stressed you will feel.
Improve your diet. Cut out sugary, fatty, salty and processed foods. Replace them with fruit, vegetables, and natural foods. This will renew the vitamins and minerals that stress depletes. The fresher they are, the more benefit you will get.
Exercise. Even a little exercise raises your energy levels, combats depression and helps you to get things in perspective. You don’t have to be an Olympic athlete or a marathon runner – just do a bit every day so that you get into the habit of being more active.
One of the easiest and cheapest forms of exercise is running. To get back into my running routine I’ve been doing Robert Ullrey’s “Couch to 5K” podcast and highly recommend it (it’s free)! There are other similar “Couch to 5K” podcasts around – Robert’s suited me best.
Note: these might seem like obvious tips (although the Basic Rest and Activity Cycle referred to in the first tip is not as widely known as it should be), but – hand on heart – have you actually been doing them? We all need the occasional reminder – I know I do!