The jobs in Northern Illinois can be very stressful as those in the big city. This is primarily the reason why the importance of rest should always be emphasized all the time. Without taking the time to rest, one can become over-fatigued.
Although acute stress is healthy, being chronically stress is actually bad for our well-being. Since rest doesn’t come naturally for us workaholics, we need to learn how to do it; to balance stress and rest. In order to balance these two, you need to have a regular schedule for work and rest. This can happen after every few hours during the day.
Rest after hours of stress is very essential to prevent fatigue. Fortunately, you do not have to take long hours to rest or do recreational and leisure activities every time you are stressed out. In fact, stress relief and rest will only take a few minutes of your time and you need to incorporate into your schedule in order for it to become one of your habits. As soon as you have mastered and made rest a habit, you won’t be able to enter chronic stress.
First and foremost, when you rest you need to relax your muscles. One way to do this is to simply think of the word “soft” and picture out things that are soft; the kind of soft that you like. Imagine that these soft images can be felt in all the tensed places of your body such as your neck, shoulders, lower back, legs, and feet. This will help your muscles to relax and let go of all the tension it has built up. With practice and in time, you will be able to find it a lot easier to relax your whole body in a matter of seconds while you are sitting at your desk taking a short break from work. You can also make use of stress relieving equipment such as stress balls if it helps you relax more.
As your muscles relax and let go of the tension, pay attention to your breathing. As you breathe, you will be able to feel your rib cage expand and relax. Take a deep natural breath to move your torso and fill your lugs with fresh air; note that breathing naturally is important to help you relax. Allow your breathing to slow down while keeping your throat open. Make a smoother and slow transition between inhalation and exhalation. Do this breathing exercise for at least two minutes. If you are able to do it properly, your Autonomic Nervous System will be able to relax in response to your increasing heart rate variability.
Relax your mind for a little while. Allow time for your mind to drift away from thinking about the past or the future. When resting, try not to think at all or you may try to think about less stressful and happy thoughts. Relax your eyes by looking straight ahead and slightly look down and try not to move your eyes. Do not focus on any object and notice your entire field of vision. With this, you will be able to feel a little “zoned out”. This will help in slowing your mind and allowing it to stop for a moment. Note that like your muscles, your mind also needs to take a rest.
Another way of relieving stress from work is through physical exercise. Take time to do exercise regularly before or after work; you may not do this every day but at least do it a couple of times a week. Contrary to popular belief, exercising actually helps in relaxing tensed muscles and it provides a medium to vent out all the negativities such as frustration and irritability. Note that through physical activity, your body will release a chemical called endorphins that will help in elevating your mood and thus make you feel a lot better about yourself. Physical exercise need not to be extreme, doing chores at home and walking the dogs are some of the good forms of exercise; doing them would not only keep you healthy and relaxed, but be productive as well.
Lastly, journalizing how you feel and how your day went will also help you relieve stress as well. It does not only help you clear your mind, but also help you in understanding what you truly feel about something; thus, you will be able to reflect and learn more about yourself. Aside from that, it helps you solve your problems by allowing you to analyze them, enabling you to find a solution. Writing down your fears and anxiety will also help in promoting your emotional wellbeing as it makes you feel a lot better.
Whatever it is that help you cope from the daily stress shouldn’t be stopped. A good and effective coping strategy will definitely go a long way. Note, however, that they vary from person to person. That is, what works well for others may not work out for you. Thus, evaluate yourself and see what goes you through a rough day.