As we celebrate not only the recent turn of the year but also the Chinese or Lunar New Year, we start thinking about how we're going to make 2016 even better than the last. It can all seem so overwhelming, that we just ditch the whole thing and continue as we are. Try my five minute 'Loving Yourself' make over for a fresh start to the new year.
Loving yourself means giving yourself a break from the mental pressures and stresses that we put ourselves through every day. Ever been stressed even when you're well relaxed and bored? I know I have.
Here are a few of my top tips for taking it easy on yourself and showing yourself some real love on a daily basis. Bring these things into your day to day routine and eventually, you'll be showing yourself so much love, that you'll feel as if someone is genuinely looking out for you! :)
Managing Your Time
Good time management can allow you more quality time with your family and friends and even increase your performance and productivity when you are working. This will also help reduce your stress levels.
To improve your time management:
· Save time by focusing and concentrating, delegating, and scheduling time for YOU. You are a priority so don't neglect yourself!
· Keep a record of how you honestly spend your time, including work, family, and leisure time. This will show you all that time you are wasting on Facebook reading about the Kardashians.
· Prioritize your time by rating tasks by importance and urgency. Redirect your time to those activities that are important and really meaningful to you.
· Manage your commitments by not over or under committing. Don't commit to what is not important to you and your life goals.
· Deal with procrastination by using a day planner, breaking large projects into smaller ones, and setting short-term deadlines. There's nothing better than ticking things off on your 'to-do' list.
· Examine your beliefs to reduce conflict between what you believe and what your life is actually like. What is your life's work? If it doesn't make you happy, how can you change it?
Nurture Healthy Coping Strategies
It is important that you identify your personal coping strategies. One way to do this is by thinking about how you dealt with a stressful event in the past, your reaction, and how you coped in a stress journal. With this information, you can work to change unhealthy coping strategies into healthy ones-those that help you focus on the positive and what you can change or control in your life. So if you usually freak out at the slightest littler mishap, retrace your steps and identify at which point you lose it. Think of strategies to stop the blow up before it happens.
Love Your Lifestyle
Some of our behaviours and lifestyle choices can affect our stress levels. They may not cause stress directly, but they can interfere with the ways our bodies seek relief from stress. Try to:
· Balance personal, work, and family needs and obligations. Easier said than done, but make it a priority.
· Have a sense of purpose in life.
· Get enough sleep, since your body recovers from the stresses of the day while you are sleeping.
· Eat a balanced diet for a nutritional defence against stress.
· Get moderate exercise throughout the week.
· Limit your consumption of alcohol, remember that even Champagne is a depressant!
· Don't smoke! Just don't.
Allow Yourself to Enjoy Social Support
Social support is a major factor in how we experience stress. Social support is the hugely important positive support that you receive from family, friends, and your tribe or community as whole. It is the knowledge that you are cared for, loved, esteemed, and valued. More and more research indicates a strong relationship between social support and better mental and physical health. Spend time in 2016 with people who make you feel good and where there is a mutual trust and respect.
Changing How You Think
When something triggers negative thoughts, you may experience fear, insecurity, anxiety, depression, rage, guilt, and a sense of worthlessness or powerlessness. Nice! These emotions trigger your body's stress reactors, just as an actual threat does. Dealing with your negative thoughts and how you see things can help reduce your stress levels.
· Recognise and stop negative thoughts now. Do not beat yourself up and whenever you hear the nasty little bitch in your head bring you down, treat her the same way that you would if she spoke about your friend that way!
· Disproving irrational thoughts helps you to avoid exaggerating the negative thought, anticipating the worst, and misinterpreting an event. Don't let thoughts spiral out of control.
· Problem solving helps you identify all aspects of a stressful event and find ways to deal with it. If you can't fix it, there's no point in worrying anyway.
· Changing your communication style helps you communicate in a way that makes your views known without making others feel put down, hostile, or intimidated. This reduces the stress that comes from poor communication. Honour yourself by saying No, when you mean No.
Whether you're a stay at home mum, the CEO, or work 9 to 5, stress is one unwanted visitor you would love to boot out of your life in 2016.
Love and light to you for the New Year! xx