Everybody gets stressed but we all deal with it in different ways. Some of us distract ourselves with food or entertainment. Some of us walk it off or head to the gym in search of endorphins. Some of us don't deal with stress very well at all. It's always a good idea to have some go-to strategies for when we need a breather and don't have time for an all-out vacation. Here are a few suggestions:
- Disconnect. Forego all use of devices for a few hours in your day. Avoid having devices on the table during meals so you can connect with people you're with over a good conversation, or if you're alone, then take the time to appreciate your food and be mindful of what you're eating. Before bed, go on a "social media fast" for a couple of hours so that you can let your mind rest from all the frantic activity. Turn to more calming activities such as reading a book, or writing in your journal, or whatever helps you to slow down and relax. Switch off all devices as blue light can prevent you from having the best sleep you can get.
- Get outdoors. We all have an undeniable connection to nature. Getting some sun exposure (even just 15 minutes at a time) not only gives you Vitamin D but is one of the best ways to energize yourself in the morning. In Japan, forest-bathing is popular as it has been proven to lower stress markers but you can replicate some of these benefits simply by exposing yourself to green surroundings – even if it's just the UP Oval, the Ayala Triangle Gardens, or your neighborhood park.If you can, try to spend a couple of hours in a nice grassy park every now and then. Sitting on the grass or walking barefoot on the earth (or sand) can also help lower your stress. Take the kids out and have them play outdoors with a ball or frisbee (or your pets) while you're at it.
- Reframe the situation and find an opportunity from a crisis. Someone once asked me whether I get stressed by coaching clients who are makulit. While it is indeed stressful, one way to look at it is that demanding clients are also the most engaged ones. And so if I address their questions and concerns in a timely and professional way, then I am more likely to have a happy customer. Turn the problem around on its head and find a way to turn it into a positive thing, or perhaps an opportunity for you to step up your game or learn something new.