30-Apr-2014.By: Elsie Solomon
Figure this out. This morning, like every other day, you woke up at about 4:30am, with your heavy, sleepy eyes still begging to go back to bed you forced yourself up and managed to mumble a few words of gratitude to your creator for keeping you alive to see a new day. You lifted your spirit and hoped for a day better that the previous one.
Well, you are up, dashed to the bathroom and before long you are out on the road. Heavy traffic? That’s a given, as long as the city remains what it is. Horns blaring so loud from different vehicles as each dragged to find an ant hole to manoeuvre its routes. Carbon monoxide filled the air, no better air to breathe in. You eventually manage to get to the office may be in good time, perhaps not too good because you are a few minutes late. You are already panting as if you’ve finished the day’s work. Meanwhile, you are just about to start.
Your desk is filled with so much to do, so much that can keep you busy for the rest of the week. Well, it’s just Tuesday. While you are battling with how to go about these long to-do lists, mails keep dropping every minute like rain beating the house roof. “ I am done for”, you whispered to yourself. As if he heard you, your boss called-in and dropped four more files. Sorry, those are not for decorations, they are additional work. Deadline? COB (Close of Business). Suicide! You screamed. No you didn’t. You actually wished you could scream it out as loud as it feels within you. “Deal with it man, you can't quit”, your own thought whispered to you. You fired on and closed late.
You got back home through the same heavy traffic and just after having a cold shower, you lay your head to rest and suddenly realized it was already 11:30 pm. “God of goodness”, you whispered to yourself. Your bones felt sapped, nerves felt like they are failing. “Am I going to survive the next one year If I continued this way”? Again, you whispered to yourself.
Well, it will continue like this tomorrow if you allow it.
This is the travail of an average worker in Nigeria. Maybe with a slight twist though, depending on the peculiarity of everyone’s situation. But there is no denying the fact that we all go through this unfriendly routine that urgently requires us to plan our life more properly so we don’t break down. We must balance this tough daily routine with some healthy and happy lifestyle or else one is bound to live the rest of his life in stress, misery and bitterness.
Talking bout stress, the truth of the matter is that you can entirely prevent stress in your life. Even if you don’t go through the above scenario, you definitely will have other ways in which stress manifest in your life. But the good news I that you can choose how to react or manage stress without allowing it to break you down. Managing stress is all about taking charge: taking charge of your thoughts, your emotions, your schedule, your environment, and the way you deal with problems.
Stress management involves changing the stressful situation when you can, changing your reaction when you can’t, taking care of yourself, and making time for rest and relaxation. Being in control of your life is one of the first stage of putting your life hassles under control. There are many healthy ways to manage stress, but they all require a deliberate plan to change.
You can either change the situation or change your reaction to them. You need to identify those things that constitute stress in your life and begin to figure out how to deal with them, most commonly through proper planning. Don’t let stress and negative emotions build up. Try to maintain a balance between your daily responsibilities and the things you enjoy. If you take care of yourself, you’ll be better prepared to deal with challenges if and when they arise.
Plan your life. Have a plan for everything and every area of your life. Plan your wake-up time, plan your sleep time, plan your work itinerary, prioritize our task and tackle them one after the other, set a realistic target and timelines for tasks.
Get enough rest. To have good mental and emotional health, it’s important to take care of your body. That includes getting enough sleep. Most people need seven to eight hours of sleep each night in order to function optimally.
Learn about good nutrition and practice it. The subject of nutrition is complicated and not always easy to put into practice. But the more you learn about what you eat and how it affects your energy and mood, the better you can feel.
Exercise to relieve stress and lift your mood. Exercise is a powerful antidote to stress, anxiety, and depression. Look for small ways to add activity to your day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going on a short walk. To get the most mental health benefits, aim for 30 minutes or more of exercise per day.
Limit alcohol and avoid cigarettes and other drugs. These are stimulants that may unnaturally make you feel good in the short term, but have long-term negative consequences for mood and emotional health.
Stay calm and energized by appealing to the five senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Listen to music that lifts your mood, place flowers where you will see and smell them, massage your hands and feet, or sip a warm drink.
Make leisure time a priority. Do things for no other reason than that it feels good to do them. Go to a funny movie, take a walk on the beach, listen to music, read a good book, or talk to a friend. Doing things just because they are fun is no indulgence. Play is an emotional and mental health necessity.
Last Updated: 30-Jun-2016 07:39 PM
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