Well-being

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.  

How to Ward off Loneliness During Divorce

One can feel lonely when going through the divorce process. You have lost your live-in companion and may be by yourself for the first time in your life. Some go from their parents’ house – to uni – to the marital home. Perhaps you feel overwhelmed doing all the tasks that used to be split up between the both of you. There is less time to be with friends. The divorce process itself is time consuming and can leave one feeling drained.

It is essential to stay in touch with friends during divorce to ward off feelings of loneliness. A quick cup of coffee with a pal is an energy booster and provides an opportunity to vent. Holding onto a grudge or hostile feelings can impact one’s well-being. Just as you schedule events into your agenda – do so for pleasurable activities. One can be among others, yet not have to interact if that is an issue. Go to a film or play so you are around people. Many tote their lap tops to coffee shops and do their own thing while not being isolated.

Ways to Ward off  Loneliness

 

  • A great way to feel connected to people is through volunteering. Not only is one helping others who appreciate it (humans or animals) but it can boost self-worth which may have taken a hit during a turbulent marriage. You also meet and connect with other volunteers. I enjoy the camaraderie of being with other church members when serving refreshments after Mass.
  • Consider joining groups for fun, fitness or mental stimulation. MeetUp.com is global with many special interest groups, including divorce ones. Join a book or running club to enjoy an activity with like-minded people.
  • Go to festivals – one is in the midst of others and can have some nice conversations. One can enjoy great food at large communal tables. The ethnic ones have a lively atmosphere and singles are welcome.
  • Churches have community events. A nearby Orthodox one has homemade international lunches several times a year. I like going to an Anglican one for the Macmillan Coffee mornings and have met some wonderful people. Catholic ones have fish and chips dinners during Lent. My divorced friend met her next husband at a singles group at her church.
  • Some divorcing people adopted pets for company. Nurturing someone else took the focus off their problems. Get the right one. One co-worker adopted a darling pig during her divorce which she sometimes brought to work. She was told that Ms. Piggy was a small breed. Well she was not, and grew very portly in size. Ms. Piggy is now living on a farm and my co-worker has visiting rights.
  • If you do not have children – borrow someone else’s for the day. Their laughter is contagious. Nephews, nieces or little neighbours would love an outing to the zoo, park or carnival. Being around these youngsters can help you forget about your divorce for a few hours.

 

Feeling Isolated

There is a difference between feeling isolated vs lonely. Merriam Webster dictionary defines isolation as being “set apart” and this may mean geographically. While married, we lived in a house with a lovely view a bit out of town in the foothills. In the midst of divorce, I felt very isolated from other people. There was no public transport and going places necessitated a car ride. I bought a small house in town during divorce and that feeling of isolation evaporated. Others have married someone and moved to a new location and feel isolated when getting a divorce. If feasible, see if relocating would be beneficial to feel more connected to people, such as family. Determining the reason why one feels cut off is the way to fix isolation.

Reach out to others when feeling lonely. Loneliness is defined as “being without company.” Talk to neighbours, the barista at your coffee shop or other encounters. I have had some of my best conversations with individuals who were sharing my park bench. Start a new hobby or take a class to beat the Loneliness Blues.

My article was originally published on the web site of Paradigm Family Law   http://www.paradigmfamilylaw.co.uk/

Paradigm Family Law is a niche practice specialising in divorce and family law advice run by matrimonial experts James Thornton and Frank Arndt.  They have over 30 years experience in the field, and provide specialist legal advice for divorce and family matters including international disputes.  The fees are fixed, enabling you to budget with certainty and security and without the stress of unknown increased costs in the future as your case progresses.