You can’t sleep, because your mind is racing. You have constant butterflies in your stomach. You can’t focus on one thing at a time. You forget someone’s name as soon as they introduce themselves. The slightest extra task reduces you to tears…
You know what I’m talking about it. We are all too familiar with the big S. Yes, I’m talking about STRESS. Stress is currently one of modern society’s biggest health concerns. Stress affects our physical wellness, our mental capacity, our relationships, our productivity and much, much, more. It’s a silent killer.
Unfortunately, very few of us can afford to retire and live a stress-free life sipping cocktails on the beach and reading all day. The fact of the matter is that stress is something we need to learn to manage in our everyday lives. Stress is an everyday reality for most of us and we need to learn to manage it, otherwise it will consume us.
But fortunately, at Sensory Intelligence Consulting® we’ve made it our business to help you manage your stress in a healthy way. We use easy and practical tips and tools to help you reduce and manage your stress levels. Today we want to share a few of our “life hacks” to beat stress with you. These may seem simple, but they are tried, tested and trusted.
TIP ONE: MOVE!
Sitting is the new smoking. Many people spend 8 hours or more sitting each day. As human beings, we are designed to move our bodies, and if we don’t, our physical and emotional stress increases. Get up and go to the bathroom, make a cup of coffee, use the stairs, go for a short walk after work, do some stretches before work… regular movement will drastically change your stress levels. You will start to notice an improvement in your mood and a decrease in your stress after you move. It is a quick and easy way to access your body’s natural relaxation response and feel refreshed when you return to your desk.
TIP 2: CONNECT!
Most of us have the natural inclination to become less connected and more task-centred when things get busy. We spend evenings checking mail and weekends frantically trying to manage tasks on our to-do lists. All the while our stress increases. At Sensory Intelligence Consulting® it’s about quality, not quantity. It’s about being fully present in the moment with your friends and loved ones. Research shows that people who connect with other’s as little as once a day, have lowered stress levels. The trick is, it has to be real connection- not via WhatsApp or sitting in the same room watching television. To facilitate real connection, we use the technique of STOP, LOOK and LISTEN
- STOP – Put down your phone. Let go of your frantic thoughts. Simply stop and be present for the person you are with.
- LOOK – Look someone in the eyes. Really take in what you see. That’s where real connection happens
- LISTEN – We tend to listen to respond, rather than truly listen to the other person’s experience. What would happen if you just listened without needing to respond? Just be open to what the other person has to say.
TIP 3: BOUNDARIES!
Setting healthy boundaries is a way of protecting your own time and prioritising what is really important. For everything you say ‘yes’ to, you are also saying ‘no’ to something else. Spend some time thinking about how you spend your time. How many things are you doing that’s not a priority and increases your stress levels? What are the things you can say ‘no’ to in order to say ‘yes’ to something else? Do you need to maybe say ‘no’ to a birthday party of someone you don’t know that well, in order to say ‘yes’ to spending time with your children? Do you need to say ‘no’ to working this weekend, in order to say ‘yes’ to going for a run? The reality is, you cannot be all things, for everyone, all the time. Decide what’s important and use boundaries to protect what’s important.
TIP 4: PLAN!
Write your to-do list using pen and paper. Using your touch and visual sense, means you are solidifying the task in your brain and increasing your chances of getting to your to-do list. Spend each morning writing down the biggest 3 tasks for the day – our brain works in 3’s. Focus on that and let go of less important, time-wasting tasks. Return at the end of the day and congratulate yourself on your tasks well done!
Now over to you …
- Do you have any creative hacks to manage stress? Please share them with us?
- Do you want to take stress management to the next level? Contact us to make an appointment to do your sensory profile and receive a personalised wellness guide to keep you productive, healthy and happy!
- Do you want to take stress management to the next level in your company? Contact us to book a workshop for your team.
Karlien Terblanche is a specialist Sensory Intelligence® facilitator for adults and corporate groups. She holds a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Stellenbosch and specialises in the field of mental health. She has extensive experience in the area of sensory integration in adults and is currently exploring sensory mindfulness as a preventative strategy in mental health and wellness. She is passionate about working with both individual clients and groups and aims to guide her clients to reach their full potential. She fully believes every person can become the hero of their own story.