Deal with Stress before it gets the better of you
Who doesn’t experience it?
I certainly do.
The last few weeks have been so hectic that I’ve tried hard to stretch my 24- hour day as much as I could. What I mean is, I’ve been sleeping late and waking up early. While I’ve looked after my family as best as I could, I’ve fallen short on self-care several times by not eating on time, getting less sleep than I should and not relaxing as much as I should. As a diabetic, this is the worst thing I could do.
All the work deadlines and activity at home with my son getting ready for college have taken their toll on me. I’ve been finding it difficult to focus -what with an overfull plate.
So when I checked my blood sugar yesterday, it was a wake up call. I usually consider myself a happy person and have no intention of changing that. I decided that it was time to take action before my stress levels got out of hand. It was time to change!
You see, some stress is good for our health. It keeps us on our toes when we react to it positively. But allow it to overtake us and it opens the door to sickness. This means spending time away from the things we enjoy and frequent doctors’ visits.
Here is what I am doing to take control of my stress:
- Relax – I take deep breaths. When I feel stressed, I take a few deep breaths to slow down and help my muscles relax.
- Stretch – I stretch to ease my tension. I massage my muscles and when my family’s around, request them to rub my back to make me feel better.
- Laugh – laughter is the best medicine for most stressful situations in life. It lessens stress hormone levels and strengthens our immune system.
Besides slowing down, I have also made lifestyle changes. I started by pledging to take care of my body!
- I get enough sleep by going to bed at a reasonable hour. Sleep is essential for us to recover from the day’s stress. When we rest well, we think better and are more prepared to deal with our problems as they arise. It is true that we need at least 7 – 9 hours of sleep at night to feel truly rested.
- I take time outs to do things I enjoy, like listening to music, reading a book or watching a comedy.
- I eat right. I make sure I get enough fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains in my diet. Oh yes, I am a coffee lover but I have stopped depending on it for that instant energy boost. I’ve cut off sugary snacks long ago, so that part is taken care off. When I feel the need for a snack, I snack healthy with nuts or fruits.
- I exercise. Physical activity not only relaxes those tense muscles but keeps us in a good mood. There is research to prove that physical activity can keep depression and anxiety at bay. High stress levels are known to cause physical and mental chronic illnesses.
- I connect with my friends. When I have a problem I share it with my family and it definitely makes me feel much better by showing me a new perspective.
- When I have too much to do, I delegate. When I can’t take on something, I say no, firmly.
My stress is not going to go away, but I can certainly change the way I respond to it! I am responding positively by making sure I have a good health insurance plan in place. Religare Health Insurance’s CARE plan is a good option as it offers the benefits of health insurance with host of new-age features – medical treatment anywhere in the world, automatic recharge, cashless treatment, regular health checks, ambulance cover, in-patient care and of course, tax benefits. I opted for family floater option to cover my entire family under one policy.
How do you deal with stress?
Do you have a health insurance plan in place?