Surviving Stress: The Women’s Guide to Getting Through the Day-to-Day

Every woman knows the feeling: After countless days of work, eat, sleep, and little else, energy drops to an all-time low and sanity starts to waver. You question why you’re working so hard at all, and if any of it even matters. It’s all too easy to let the stresses of daily life get you down, but giving up isn’t the answer. What you need is to regain balance in your life so you can bring your best to each and every day. Here’s how.

Manage Stress at Work

Even if you love your job, spending 40-plus hours a week at work can wear on you. Whether it’s an overly-demanding boss, inefficient coworkers, or just the mundanity of the same thing day in and day out, a full-time job is bound to get to you. When it does, you’ll need strategies to cope.

When it comes to stress management, the best offense is a good defense, so make sure you’re practicing good sleep and diet habits and working exercise into your schedule. A healthy lifestyle is one of the best defenses against stress and its cousins, depression and anxiety.

To ensure enough time to take care of your personal needs, set professional boundaries with an eye on work-life balance. Don’t make a habit of working overtime. If your boss gives you a project with an unrealistic deadline, negotiate the timeline rather than scrambling to get it done. Colleagues constantly interrupting your lunch break with work requests? Start leaving the building during lunch so you can use that hour to relax.

When you walk out of the office at the end of the day, turn work off. No matter how strong the temptation, don’t check your email or squeeze in “just one more hour” of work. Avoid venting about work as much as possible, and when you just have to, stick to a hard limit of 20 minutes. The last thing you want is for your workplace stresses to seep into your home life.

Practice Self-Care

Women today are expected to do it all — have a successful career, a loving relationship, happy children, and a Pinterest-worthy home — but living up to those unrealistic standards can leave little time for actually being happy. Try to focus less on outward appearances and more on taking care of your own needs.

What does that look like? For starters, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep each night and eating healthy meals. Eating well both preserves your health long-term and keeps you happier and more energetic now. In fact, good nutrition has been linked to better health outcomes in everything from cardiovascular health to mental health.

But self-care is about more than meeting your basic needs. It’s about building a rich personal life that brings you joy and fulfillment. That means making time for hobbies, cultivating new interests, spending time with the people you care about, and practicing gratitude every day.

Bond with Your Pet

Pets take care of us in more ways than we give them credit for. In fact, the simple act of being in the presence of a furry friend has emotional benefits. Spending quality time with your pet can be an instant mood-booster and can help stabilize your stress over the long-term.

If you don’t currently share your home with a critter, consider adopting one from your local shelter. Saving the life of an animal in need will instantly lift your spirits every time you see your new family member. If adopting isn’t an option, you can enjoy the emotional perks of spending time with animals by offering to help with friends’ pets, such as by dog boarding in your home or even dog walking.

Nurture Your Relationships

When everything is going wrong at work and life is a mess, it’s friends and loved ones that can lift you up and get you back on your feet. That’s why no matter how busy life gets, it’s critical to always nurture your personal relationships.

Social relationships are so important that they actually help us stay happier and live longer. To make sure you sustain this pillar of wellness, carve out time every week to connect with your friends, family, and romantic partners. Whether it’s a Saturday barbecue or a quick phone call, making time for relationships helps them grow stronger.

Of course, personal relationships aren’t without their own stresses. Whether it’s a boyfriend or a best friend, work through your relationship issues respectfully and lovingly. Arguments come and go, but when you treat them right, good people stay by your side for a lifetime.

Life can be overwhelming at times, but when you take care of yourself and prioritize your needs, you can get through whatever the day throws at you. Try implementing these tips in your daily life as part of your journey to a less stressful, more centered life.

Author is Paige Johnson      Paige is a self-described fitness “nerd.” She possesses a love for strength training. In addition to weight-lifting, she is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist.  website http://learnfit.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keeping Healthy in Body, Mind, and Spirit, After Divorce

photo-1498568715259-5c1dc96aa8e7 - CopyAnyone who has been through a divorce will easily understand why the process ranks second in the iconic Holmes and Rahe stress scale. Such a big change in one’s personal life has a significant impact on your financial situation, home stability, and, sometimes, social status. Living a happy, healthy life post-divorce can be challenging, but it can definitely be achieved by keeping your body and mind in optimal shape. In this post, we discuss the importance of approaching health in an integrated manner, during the post-divorce weeks and months.

What Happens to Your Body when You are Stressed?

Stress is more than a state of worry or anxiety; when present chronically, it can cause elevated blood pressure, digestive problems, and headaches, and it is linked to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. There are no big secrets when it comes to being physically fit. Daily exercise (aim for 30 to 40 minutes) and a sound, Mediterranean diet (comprising lean proteins, seasonal fruits and veggies, nuts, and healthy fats such as olive and flaxseed oil) are key.

Foods for Life and Adaptogens

Stressful times call for extra measures, and this means placing a bigger emphasis on life-enhancing superfoods such as apples (linked to a reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes), apricots (which are a known immunity booster) and blueberries (rich in anthocyanin, a flavonoid thought to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes). These are just a few of a vast list of superfoods, so feel free to experiment with new ones depending on the results you wish to achieve.

Back these up if you are feeling low with amazing adaptogens. As noted by beauty guru, Leslie Kenton, these are herbs and roots that “improve your ability to adapt to all forms of stress, while at the same time helping to normalize its biochemical effects.”

Some of the best known adaptogens include Siberian ginseng (thought to promote better sleep, increased stamina, and clearer thinking), suma (a wild root said to raise energy levels and increase endurance), and echinacea (an excellent detoxifying supplement).

Making Room for Mindfulness

Mindfulness based activities such as yoga and meditation are currently used across the globe in top centers catering to a numerous conditions, including eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

Yoga is also recommended to deal with stress caused by diseases such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and heart disease, with researchers strongly recommending this millenary practise as a complementary therapy following their successful findings.

Study after study has shown that yoga, meditation and even Tai Chi significantly lower levels of stress hormone, cortisol, and boost energy levels and mood. Scientists belief their success has to do with their emphasis on mind-body control and on pranayamic breathing (which is a powerful way to stop a panic attack in its tracks, as well as keep the mind ‘in the here and now’, instead of focused on the past or in a state of worry about the future).

When going through a divorce, it is vital to approach health and fitness from a multi-faceted perspective that encompasses both traditional healthy nutrition and exercise, as well as activities that work on a mental and spiritual plane. By committing to yourself and exercising self-compassion, health and wellbeing can be two core values that shape your life for the better.

 Author of this article, Lucy Wyndham, is a freelance writer and former Financial Advisor. After a decade in industry, she took a step backward to spend more time with her family and to follow her love of writing.  

Family Travel Bucket List Destinations Part 1

IMG_5944Something I’ve spoken about before is the benefit of travel. By the time I was 25 I’d visited around 40 countries. This may seem a lot but considering there are upwards of 200 and the fact that I’ve met plenty of people who´ve surpassed 100 puts this figure in perspective. Of course travel shouldn’t be about quantity of places or ticking names off a list, quality of experience is much more valuable. I merely highlighted my relative travel experience to give some context in regards to my view point and hopefully some credence too!

I first left the UK when I was three. All I remember of Italy was a beautiful but stony beach; however that doesn’t mean to say there was no benefit in this experience. Being introduced to other cultures and countries at a young age definitely left an impression on me, it fed my longing for adventure as a young child. This developed in to wanderlust at a later age and has most certainly helped define who I am as an adult. The thing about travel is that no matter what your or your children’s fascinations are there is something for everyone. History, engineering, farming, art, culture, music, trekking, adventure, sports, relaxation and well-being, wildlife, science, food, architecture, religion and geography are all topics you can indulge in and learn about all over the world.

I previously emphasized the value of the precious family time and togetherness that a vacation provides, whilst simultaneously helping you de-stress and your children learn and grow. Now I’d like to give some more practicable and specific information pertaining to different destinations.

Once you become responsible for children of your own your ideal holiday destination changes in accordance with their likes and dislikes and also becomes dependent on what type of trip will give you the least stress! In the past I never understood the fascination people had with holiday resorts. For me they are never representative of the country you are visiting. Now I whole heartedly recognize the attraction. The ease in which they can booked, the reliable safety of the locations, the lack of issues to consider and the relative ease in which all the family can be pleased. However my experience on these types of trips is limited, what I’d like to do is give a breakdown on some unique bucket list holiday destinations. Even if you just managed to visit one of these places in your lifetime it will be a uniquely rewarding experience for everyone involved!

11863387_10204522556204364_5984552637959938468_n

Lesser Known Island Getaways

South East Asia

A well-trodden backpacking trail but still an area of the world filled with hidden gems and getaways that would make a special family trip. The first thing you’ll notice about South-East Asia is the price, it is incredibly cheap.

Indonesia is one of the cheapest countries in the world to travel around and is really quite a large country with plenty of tropical island paradise spots, Bali and the Gili Islands being the most famous but the nearby Lombok is my personal favourite. This lesser known cousin of Bali offers some postcard perfect beaches without the tourists. For the adventure seekers there is volcano trekking and also Indonesia is the only place in the world where you can see, in the wild, the planets biggest lizard and living dinosaur: the Komodo dragon. The nearby islands of Flores, Rinca and Komodo can be reached easily by boat for this excursion. Alternatively you shouldn’t pass on the opportunity for a boating day trip for snorkelling, diving or just island hopping!

The Philippines consists of over 7000 islands! You really are spoilt for choice here. Whether you’re interested in swimming with whale sharks, exploring forests full of the world’s smallest monkeys, hiking through traditional rice terraces or walking a picturesque beach at sunset on your own island, The Philippines is special. Less explored than traditional destinations such as Thailand, nevertheless The Philippines is on the rise as tourist hotspot. Manila is a nightmare of an airport but you can catch very economical internal flights to the white sands of Boracay, the turquoise waters of Palawan and everywhere in between. Island hopping in Palawan introduced me to the most perfect islands I’ve ever seen in my life.

Caribbean islands

A cruise can be fantastic for a family holiday but if you’re not ready to splash out and would prefer to see one or two islands in depth I can definitely make some suggestions.

Aruba is a beautiful island which much like Hawaii is easily traversable by car but can be managed in less time as it is a really small island (with a MUCH smaller population.) It is very safe and the whole population appears to be multi-lingual, fluent in English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento the local language, popular in the Dutch West Indies. To my ears this language sounds similar to Portuguese. There are beautiful uncrowded beaches in abundance and the locals are very friendly, amiable people. You will have no problem using US dollars here and for the adventure seeking there are plenty of options from renting dune buggy type vehicles to diving and water sports.

St Lucia is becoming a popular honeymoon spot for a reason. The island’s rugged dramatic scenery is attracting more and more visitors each year but yet St. Lucia remains far from overdeveloped and you get a real sense of nature and natural beauty here. Again English is widely spoken and the US dollar regularly accepted. Your time here can be spent relaxing or adventuring with all the family! Rainforest hikes, ziplining, volcanoes and waterfalls, this island has it all!

So there you have it, the first instalment of my unconventional family holiday bucket list destinations!

This article was authored by Krishan Smith: senior editor and content specialist at Custody X Change, a custody software solution. Custody X Change provides software for developing and managing custody agreements, parenting plans and schedules whilst additionally providing free co-parenting resources and a scholarship program for single parents.