By Bridget Edwards
Mental health awareness has become a vitally important topic today especially since the ever-increasing statistics are alarming. Mental health applies to all of us because it’s a natural part of everyday life. It’s not something to feel ashamed, guilty or uncomfortable about, nor should this topic be something that carries discrimination, stigma or taboo. Mental health is a fact of life that really needs awareness, conversation and active engagement.
The more technologically advanced our global society becomes the more anxious, stressed and depressed people have become. The more connected we are to tech, the more disconnected and fragmented we’ve become as human beings. There is a direct and unhealthy correlation which is affecting our physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing. We can no longer live in denial, and now more than ever, it’s time to take control of our health. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘our first wealth is health.’
Many of the entrepreneurs I meet say they’re overworked, overwhelmed and stressed because they’re juggling several balls in the air at once. Particularly when their businesses are starting out or scaling up, and they lack sufficient resources, including financially or in terms of employees or partners to help support them. Outsourcing isn’t always feasible either. Entrepreneurs also express their frustrations at having very little spare time available for themselves, even though they acknowledge the important benefits of taking sufficient time out for self-care.
If this speaks to you, then these simple tips are perfectly tailor-made for you, and especially when you feel overwhelmed by stress-in-the-moment. In addition, many of the tips can so easily be combined into a winning stress combat formula, which you can easily fit into the busiest of schedules to rejuvenate mind and body so you return to work feeling calm, focused and productive.
1. Close your eyes
Simply closing your eyes for a few minutes helps you to disconnect from surrounding external chaos, and allows you to focus your attention inwards. Within a few minutes you’ll notice you’re able to calm and refocus your energies without feeling overwhelmed.
2. Breathe deeply and slowly
Intentionally focused breathing in and out through the nose slowing and calmly will quickly settle your sympathetic (stressed) nervous system. Within a few minutes your parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system with regain control over both the mind and body. Ideally combine your breathing with eyes closed tip #1.
3. Take a nap
This scientifically proven tip of taking a habitual 20 to 30 minute nap during a busy day recharges one’s batteries quickly, and supercharges creativity and productivity levels too. Ideally take off your shoes, lie down, get comfy and intentionally relax mind and body. Listen to soft soothing music if necessary. Keep a special cushion, comfy roll up mat and blanket in your office for this purpose. You’ll benefit enormously with this daily ritual. This combines tip #1 and #2.
4. Disconnect from all tech daily
Being surrounded by peace and quiet can be enormously soothing and rejuvenating. Taking adequate time to completely disconnect by switching off from all tech is vital downtime. Especially an hour before bedtime so your body and mind winds down naturally before you fall off to sleep. Ensure the Wi-Fi is also disconnected at night as this prevents harmful electromagnetic radiation (EMR) disruptions to the brain. You’ll wake up feeling recharged.
5. Quality Sleep
Never compromise on quality 7-8 hours of sleep every night. And, ideally in room made as dark as possible, without glowing or flashing lights from alarm clocks, TV or security panels. This ensures you’ll achieve a deep, rejuvenating and restorative sleep so you wake up fresh, revitalised, alert and productive. Also make a habit of maintaining the same sleep cycle i.e. 10pm to 6am daily. This habitual circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle) will help support the body’s innate ability to cleanse, detox and rejuvenate each organ while you sleep.
6. Regular Sunshine and Grounding
This is one of my all-time favourites! The sun is a vital source of life-giving energy, as well as nourishing Vitamin D, and is also necessary for regulating our circadian rhythm. Upon awakening receive 10-15 minutes of sunshine on your face whilst drinking your coffee or eating breakfast. Then during busy, stressed moments in the day step out the office to soak up the sun for 15-20 minutes to recharge your batteries (perhaps at lunchtime). In addition sit directly or walk barefoot on the grass to help ground you. The earth’s energy naturally absorbs and removes toxic energy, thus revitalising you. This is why people love lying on the grass in the sun – it makes them feel so good!
7. Take short brisk walks
Getting some fresh air and exercise outdoors is another brilliant way to refresh one’s focus. It’s the ideal opportunity to breathe deeply, loosen any stressed muscles whilst mobilising stagnant thoughts and worries, or to simply strategize without interferences. Park your vehicle a little further away from your office or a client’s building so you can walk, and also use the flights of stairs, instead of a lift, to capitalise on light exercise daily. Exercising 30 minutes a day is all that’s needed to maintain health and wellbeing.
8. Drink pure still water
Water is hydrating, soothing and nourishes the body. It also helps flush out any inflammation, acidity and toxic build-up of stress chemicals that naturally accumulate. Water is vitally important for both body and mind to function optimally. Limit and avoid all stimulants including coffee, alcohol and energy drinks which spikes one’s energy in unnatural ways, putting additional stresses on the body.
9. Green vegetable juices
Having a daily shot of green juice every morning is a super healthy way to kick start every day. You can mix this up to include spirulina, hemp powder, kale, wheatgrass etc, and add a dash of pure lemon, ginger or turmeric to vary the flavours.
10. Supplement with Amino acids – this is important
Amino acids are the protein building blocks for cells and tissues, and although often associated with bodybuilders, they also serve a range of important health-promoting roles in the body influencing one’s mood, reducing stress and boosting immunity. Generally the body doesn’t store amino acids. And, since the quality of our food sources or diets today are generally poor, and our lifestyles are pressured, these daily supplements are highly recommended.
The most important benefits of amino acid supplements include eliminating fatigue and insomnia, boosting cognitive function (mental sharpness, memory and processing abilities), lowering inflammation, supporting repair processes, increasing fat loss, and protecting against anxiety, depression and stress. Amino acids are readily available at health shops, through nutritionists, homeopaths or functional health practitioners who can advise you based upon your specific needs. Within days you’ll feel like a different person – you can thank me later :-)
Like the aircraft emergency procedures state; ‘place the oxygen mask over your face first, before helping your children or those next to you’ – the same can be said for health and wellbeing. Take care of yourself first and foremost. Never compromise. When you feel great inside and out, your business is sure to thrive because you’ll have unparalleled energy and drive to achieve your goals.
Bridget Edwards is a South African entrepreneur, author and emotional change catalyst. She is passionate about helping people overcome their emotional obstacles and personal challenges. She does this through speaking engagements, training (workshops), and private consultations. Bridget has authored two self-help books, Anger gone! How to Easily Defeat Anger, and Stress Gone! How to Identify and Reduce Stress Easily. She continues to write self help programs to assist people in dealing with their personal obstacles. www.Bridget-Edwards.com
Free Resources available at www.Bridget-Edwards.com include a Stress Quiz and a 7-day Stress Gone! ecourse ‘The multiple benefits of stress, and how to use this to your advantage’. Bridget also offers online paid consultations to eliminate stress, anxiety, depression or performance related issues entrepreneurs face.
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