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Beating stress

Stress effects us all at some time in our life, a certain amount of stress is healthy and positively challenges and motivates us – but sometimes when the balance is uneven and we encounter too much or over too long a period of time it can take its toll on our bodies and our minds. Below is some guidance to help you help yourself and look at and re evaluate your lifestyle.

This list is not exhaustive, but here are some of the basics:

  • Start by drinking plenty of water. Overhaul your diet and eat regular meals, try and incorporate more fresh fruit and vegetables every day. 
  • Reduce alcohol and nicotine intake, preferably stop if you can. See your Gp or local help groups: http://gosmokefree.nhs.uk/what-suits-me/local-nhs-services/ 
  • Take regular exercise – this is important because of the endorphins that your body releases created by exercising. Even if you can only manage a half hour walk every day – that’s a good start, and the fresh air will benefit you too! 
  • Assess work/life balance. I know this is not an easy one – we all need to work to earn a living, but are you a work to live or live to work person? We all need a little ‘me’ time or ‘family’ time, and ultimately that’s what makes us happy, time creating, pampering or loving and relaxing.
  • Practise Meditation. Trials have proved that meditation can reduce blood pressure and increase concentration levels. Enrol in some local relaxation classes. http://www.sheffield-cathedral.co.uk/links.asp?articleID=111 This is a local group with a spiritual edge or you could try: http://www.samatha.org/sheffield/index.php
  • Take up yoga. Best self help exercise you could ever do, irrespective of gender or age, or stage of pregnancy. http://www.sheffieldyogaschool.co.uk/ If you would like to try yoga in a class setting, this local yoga school is offering the first class free for you to try.
  • I also recommend practising yoga at home: after treatments I usually recommend most of my clients taking up some form of yoga, so for those of you that work long hours and can't fit sessions in try this website: http://yoga.about.com/od/yogasequences/ss/dailystretch.htm  it will lead you to many more relevant sites.  iphone have free icons to download that cover lots of yoga poses too.  You only need to work through the basic poses to start.  That may take you a year to get it right, but yoga is an exercise for LIFE! Don't get frustated with yourself, go at your own pace and enjoy it.
  • Visit your local library for self help books, look online or buy a dvd. Or take an online assessment of your stress levels, interesting and a little bit fun.
  • Assess your stress levels online:  http://students.georgiasouthern.edu/counseling/workshop/stress/stress01.html