HEALTH: Start your year – stress free!

By Curves


With all the pressure to set your resolutions – trying to keep them – and making sure you have lots of objectives to meet for the following year, it’s no wonder you can start feeling a bit stressed. This stress is caused by the feeling that you ‘have’ to deliver, especially if you’ve shared your goals with family and friends. What you need to acknowledge is that they won’t be as focused on your goals as you are – and they might not even remember what you said you were going to do!

We’ve split out our recommendations into how to prevent stress happening in the first place and then how to handle stress if it does arrive.

Five ways that can help you prevent stress:

1. Plan
Planning your activities can help reduce the risk of stress or anxiety because you are aware of the activity and you can plan management techniques into your day to ensure that you are getting some time to rest!

Break bigger tasks into smaller, more manageable parts
If you have a big task that needs tackling, but it seems too daunting to do all in one go, a great strategy is to look at it in a compartmentalized way, break it down into its component parts and then do each of these one at a time.

2. Be flexible
When we are stressed we become more rigid. Learn to loosen up so you can face events with more calm and clarity.

3. Stop
Take breaks throughout your busy working day. Make sure to devote at least 20 minutes to sitting down to enjoy a healthy and balanced lunch within a peaceful and calm environment.

4. Pop along to Curves and do some exercise
Your body‘s built to move and by releasing those all-important endorphins, you can help prevent stress and get fit all at the same time!

5. Let nature soothe the senses
Even the color green can have a positive impact on your overall mental well-being. So try and take a walk through a park or head to areas where there are more green areas or plants. Even if you can buy a little pot plant on your desk, that can help too.

6. Put more emphasis on your breathing
Not many people think about their breathing. But when you train your focus on your own breathing, it really can prevent stress by emptying your mind of everything else. It’s like a mini meditation that you can do at any time of the day.

7. Remember how far you’ve come
Without it being your total focus, remind yourself every now and again about what your goals are, but more importantly, reward yourself when you hit milestones along the way. This helps keep you motivated and stops you from feeling overwhelmed.

What can you do to handle stress?
If you do start to become stressed, how can you alleviate or even turnaround the symptoms? Here are five ways to address the stress:

1. Try and identify the cause
Is it your job, your relationship, financial worries or your living arrangements? Once you identify the cause, break this problem into one of three categories: those that you can solve with a practical solution, those that will improve with time and those that are outside your control. Focus on the first two categories and try and forget about the third.

2. Get moving
Exercise can help to clear your head and make you feel as if you’re gaining some control. It could be that while exercising you can work out solutions to your problem, or just let your mind wander and think about something else entirely. Of course, those post-workout endorphins always help too.

3. Hydrate and eat healthily
What you eat affects your mood and the junk-food high soon brings a crashing low. This lethargic feeling only adds to stress, so stick to high-fibre, carbohydrate-rich foods, fruits and vegetables, and try to avoid high fat, caffeine and sugar. You’ll feel the difference!

4. Talk to a friend
Having a totally different point-of-view can transform a situation from a negative to a positive. And if you’re open to advice, having a chat to your friends can work as the ideal springboard to bounce ideas off, have a laugh and find a solution.

Find the things you’re grateful for in life and then write them down. Even if it’s every couple of days, keep a list of the things that are good or things you’re thankful for. Reading over this list if you’re feeling stressed will help you focus on what’s truly important.

Remember, one of the best ways to lessen stress is to be good to yourself. We’ve got a few ideas on how to treat yourself and give yourself some wholesome rewards for all your hard work. You can find out more here.

If you’re looking for ways to help you manage or even conquer stress in 2019, why not book your free consultation by contacting your nearest Curves club to see how improved fitness can change your whole outlook.