things to try when you're stressed

3 things to try when you’re feeling stressed

When we feel stressed out or anxious it can be really easy to get caught up in our thoughts.

Quite often the best thing to do is get out of our heads, and bring our focus to our bodies instead.

Here are 3 things you can try to shift the focus to your physical body to help calm you down when you’re feeling anxious or stressed.

 

Move your body

Getting some physical exercise is one of the best things you can do when you’re feeling stressed.

When we move our bodies we get a rush of all sorts of feel-good hormones that makes us happier and more relaxed.  There’s also the feeling of satisfaction that comes from pushing yourself a bit and knowing you’re getting physically stronger.

If you can get out and exercise in the fresh air then you’ll get even more benefits.

The natural light and surroundings of your local park for example have been shown time and time again to give us a boost and lower feelings of stress and anxiety.

 

Stand still

If you’re in a situation where you can’t just go for a walk in the park or head to the gym, then try standing still instead.

Find a quiet spot where you can stand still and just focus on something.  It might be that you clench and unclench your fists, focusing on how it feels to tighten and relax your muscles.  Or you could try focusing on your feet.  Notice how they feel in the shoes you’re wearing, or how the ground feels underneath them.

When you focus fully on something like this, there’s no space for your mind to worry and you should feel less stressed.

 

Check yourself

If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just a bit ‘off’ but you’re not sure why, then check in with yourself.

Are you hungry or thirsty?  It might be as simple as your body needing a glass of water to start feeling better.

It could also be that you’re tired and need a rest, or possibly actually in need of physical activity if you’ve been sat at your desk all day.

Take a bit of time and check in with your basic needs to make sure they’re being met.  If they’re not then do what you can to eat well, rehydrate and get enough sleep.

 

What do you tend to do to help yourself when you’re feeling stressed or anxious? 

Please do let me know by leaving me a comment.

 

Be more productive

Try this trick to be more productive all day

You know those days where you have a never-ending to-do list and yet you can’t seem to get going?

Those times when you get to the end of the day and know you could’ve been so much more productive, but just couldn’t quite get going.

I know I’ve had quite a few days like that, and so I love learning about different techniques and tricks to try to be more productive.

Here’s one thing you can try that just takes a few minutes, but can make a big difference to how productive you are all day.

 

First thing in the morning, as soon as you get out of bed, do something active.

 

You could do push ups, sit ups, star jumps, or just jog on the spot.  Just move your body in some way, for at least a minute.

If you’re looking to get fit then you might want to do a longer workout, but to get a productivity boost all you need is about a minute.

 

No matter how busy your morning is, you should be able to squeeze in just one minute of physical activity.

And that short burst of exercise will be enough to get your body releasing feel-good endorphins that make you feel happier and energised.  That boost first thing in the morning will then carry through to the rest of the day, giving you the energy to make you much more productive all day long.

Starting your day with a rush of endorphins really does set you up for a better day all round.

 

The beauty of this trick is that it is so easy.

It doesn’t require much effort or time but the impact it can have on your day can be huge.  And if you commit to doing this on a daily basis then it can transform your whole lifestyle.

You don’t have to do the same thing every day.  You can mix it up as much as you like.  The key thing is to move your body, in whatever way you feel like each day.

 

On those days when you’re snug and comfy in bed, and really don’t want to get up and get active, then try Mel Robbins’ trick of counting down from 5.  When you get to 1, just get up.

Just do it.

Count down, then go, before you give your mind the chance to come up with more excuses and talk you out of it.

So, what will you do tomorrow morning to get moving and boost your productivity?

 

Tips for fitting exercise into a busy schedule

7 tips for fitting exercise in to a busy schedule

I think we all know how important regular exercise is for both our physical and mental wellbeing.

But it can still be really hard to fit in regular workouts when our lives are as busy as they so often are these days.  If you’d like to start exercising a bit more, then here are 7 tips that might help you fit it in to a busy schedule.

7 tips for fitting exercise into a busy schedule

 

1. Workout at home

If you have a jam-packed schedule it can be incredibly hard to fit in a session or a class at the gym.  Because you don’t just have to find the 30 minutes for the class in your day.  You also have to factor in the time it’ll take to get to the gym and back.

Working out at home, either with a DVD or by streaming a workout, can be much easier to fit into your day.

 

2. Work out your best time to workout

If you’re trying to fit exercise into a busy schedule then you need to be able to just get stuck into it as quickly as possible.  So you need to find the best time of day for you when you feel most keen to workout so you don’t waste valuable time dragging your feet before you get started.

If might be that setting your alarm half an hour earlier in the morning and getting out of bed to exercise first thing is the best option for you.

Or you might find that a 30 minute gym class on your lunch break works best for you and gives you an energy boost for the afternoon.

 

3. Walk more

If you can’t fit in a formal workout then you can still get more exercise in your day by walking more.

The standard advice is to aim for 10,000 steps a day and getting something like a fitbit can really help keep you motivated to try and reach that target.

You can add to your step count by walking round town in your lunch hour, or doing the classic things like parking a bit further away from work or the shops so you have to walk that little bit more.

If you work in an office you can also do little things like walking to a colleague’s desk or office for a chat rather than emailing them, and taking the stairs to the toilets on another floor when you need to go.

 

4. Set an alarm and move every hour

Another tip for those who can’t fit a whole exercise session in to their busy day.

Set an alarm to remind you to get up from your desk on a regular basis and move around a bit.  Take a walk to the staff kitchen on a tea/coffee run.  Or even just do a few stretches at your desk.

If you’re at home then you have a bit more freedom to do something like walk/run up and down the stairs a few times.  Or do a quick circuit of sit ups and push-ups.

 

5. Play with your children

Whether it’s at the weekends if you’re out at work during the week, or vice versa, make time with your children a chance to fit in some exercise.

If your children are still little then pushing them in the buggy to the local park is a great way to get your body moving.  When they’re older you can play games like ‘it’ and hide and seek with them, or do a few laps of the playpark while they’re busy playing.

 

6. Include the children

Another solution for busy parents is to actually include your children in your workout.

Babies and toddlers can be brought along to a buggy fit exercise class, or you can use their weight as extra resistance by babywearing while on a brisk walk.

Another option is to find a gym with a creche where they can play while you workout.

And older children can be encouraged to work out with you, either by playing sport together, finding a family friendly yoga class or seeing if your local parkrun session offers a junior option.

 

7. Make the housework work for you

Another great way to fit exercise into your everyday activities is to step things up a gear when you tackle the housework.

Set a timer and move quickly to tidy, dust and hoover the house.

 

 

I think the thing to keep in mind is that exercise doesn’t have to just mean a full-on session at the gym or a 5k run.  Those things are great and hopefully some of these tips will help you fit them in once a week, but they’re not the be all and end all of exercise.

If you really don’t have time to fit something like that in to your life then making other parts of your routine, like doing the housework and playing with your children, more active will still have so many benefits to your health and wellbeing.

Do you have any other tips for fitting exercise into a busy schedule? 

Try this one little trick to help start a new exercise habit

Try this one little trick to start an exercise habit

I used to exercise quite a lot before I had the children.

I would go to the gym several times a week; for classes and to use the equipment.  I would go for jogs along the seafront.  And I would do exercise DVDs at home.

Then I had Rhys and it all stopped.  I just lost my motivation to do any formal exercise, and was happy with pushing the buggy everywhere as a way of keeping fit.

In the last few years though I’ve got back into the habit of doing exercise DVDs at home.  I think they’re the best option for me at the moment, it’s so much easier than trying to get myself out to the gym.  The thing is though, it can be really hard to get into the habit of exercising when you’ve taken a break from it.  Or when you’ve never really done it before.

So here’s a little trick I’ve used that you can try to make it more likely that you’ll get started with a new exercise habit.

Try this one little trick to start an exercise habit

 

Do whatever you can to make it almost impossible to not do it.

Make it so easy to do whatever kind of exercise you’re going to do that you simply can’t not do it.  How’s that for a fun double negative!

 

If you want to start fitting exercise into your life, but find that you can quite easily talk yourself out of actually doing it then you need to make the whole thing as easy as possible for yourself.

So if you’re planning on doing an exercise DVD at home once you’ve dropped the children off at school then put your exercise clothes out ready to change into as soon as you walk back through the door.  Better yet, wear them on the school run so you don’t even need to change once you’re home.

Put the DVD in and ready to go so all you have to do is hit play.  Or if you’re doing a workout from YouTube then get it all lined up ready to go as soon as you get in.

 

The trick here is to not give yourself time to overthink it and talk yourself out of exercising.

Make everything so simple that before you know it you’ve already started.

 

This isn’t just something  that works for stay at home parents of school age children.  

It can be applied to pretty much any situation.

If you plan to get up a bit earlier and exercise before heading to work, then the same thing applies.  Put your workout gear out so you can pull it on as soon as you get out of bed.  Have the video lined up ready to simply press play.

On the other hand, if the best solution for you is to hit the gym after work then the principle is still the same.

Pack your gym kit the night before and have it ready to go by the front door.  Pick a gym that is either close to work or close to home if you can, so you don’t have to go too far out of your way to get there.

 

Make exercising a no-brainer, the easiest thing you’ll do that day.

If you still find that you’re coming up with excuses not to start, then take a look at them one by one and do whatever you can to bust them.  If you feel you don’t have time to fit an hour-long exercise session in to your day, then look at the alternatives.

There are some great 20 minute workouts that deliver the same results.  Or you can change up your routine a bit to squeeze in tiny bits of exercise, if your schedule really is jam-packed.

 

The main thing is to make it so easy to start exercising that you don’t have a chance to decide not to do it.

I also know that coming home from the school run and seeing my exercise clothes out ready makes me feel like I’d rather just get on and do it, rather than feeling bad about packing it all away again having not worked out.

 

Have you been wanting to start a new habit of exercising regularly? 

Hopefully this trick will help you get going with it, and if you have any other bits of advice or ways to make it easy as possible please do leave me a comment and let me know!

 

This post has been linked up with KCACOLS