The blending and juicing of food have been the sources of much debate over recent years.
In addition, there are different schools of thought around whether you need a blender or a juicer to get the best results – some people even believe in having both! The best way to go about it is to do your homework and find out what the best solution for your own needs is going to be. To help you, here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve put together to help you make the right decision.
What do you want the blender to do?
This one is easy – it should blend things. This means that it should be able to handle whatever you put into it and turn it into a smooth, well-distributed consistency. Think of a smoothie – the perfect mix of the sum of its ingredients, all thanks to a blender.
Blenders vs Juicers
While their functionality is similar, there are certain crucial differences that set these appliances apart. A blender is useful for turning whole ingredients into smooth, liquid to semi-liquid mixtures, while a juicer simply extracts the liquid while leaving the bulk of the fruit or vegetables behind.
Why should you use a blender?
With a blender, what you put in is what you get out. No part of the food is discarded or unused, meaning that you not only cut down on wastage, you can also benefit from the full fruit or vegetable, including all of its fiber. Fiber is the magic ingredient for internal health, and keeps your digestive system in top functioning order, by regulating bowel activity.
Types of blenders
Blenders are available in the single-serving size or the traditional jug shape. The single-serving type is perfect for singles, or for when you need to make a quick meal on the run, without too much fuss. Jug blenders are great for when you need to blend food for a family or need to make multiple servings for any reason.
What is a super blender?
These are high-performance blenders that often perform multiple additional functions, like kneading bread dough, or grinding coffee beans or mincing meat, over and above the initial blending function.
Don’t feel pressured to choose!
Everybody loves shopping for appliances, and if you are debating making a choice between a blender and a juicer, you shouldn’t feel like you need to choose one over the other. Perhaps you could consider getting both, as each comes with its own set of benefits. It also gives you the choice between blending and juicing, based on your mood and preference. If you are not in the mood to consume bulky foods, you can opt for juice.
On the other hand, if you feel like you need something more substantial, you can skip the juice and head for a smoothie to help fill you up. Both of these appliances can help you to create quick, nutritious meals with minimal effort and maximum value.
Currently, there are almost 300 mental health disorders that are known about today.
These are all categorized under different areas that are relevant to their symptoms. With all these different types, come varying levels of severity and symptoms, so it’s important to remember that they don’t affect everyone in the same way.
In this article, we’ll discuss 6 of the different types of mental health disorders.
6 Type of Mental Disorders Explained
Mood disorders are those that are associated with our feelings and emotions—for example, depression or bipolar disorder. While most individuals associate this with feeling down, some disorders consist of intense joyfulness. Disorders that affect your mood can also link to the other areas, as you may begin to feel anxious, struggle to eat, or begin to substance abuse because of your emotions.
Some of the most common eating disorders that are most discussed include binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia. All eating disorders can occur to anyone at any age; however, it is possible to make a complete recovery. Treatment for eating disorders can include medication, as well as phycological treatment. If you’re worried about the cost of certain expenses, it may be worth looking into health insurance. Check out aetna-medicareplans.com to see their options.
Personality disorders are related to unhealthy patterns of thinking, which can cause intense stress and overwhelming emotions. Some individuals might not even know they have a condition because they feel that their reaction is normal and natural. Some of the symptoms of a personality disorder can include an inability to pick up on social cues, suspicion of others, lack of remorse, and unstable self-image.
Psychotic disorders affect the mind and can inhibit us from seeing things clearly. Symptoms are usually quite severe, and individuals struggle to see reality from fantasy. Some of the most commonly known psychotic disorders include schizophrenia and substance abuse.
Occasionally being anxious is a normal reaction. However, those with anxiety disorders continuously feel a sense of panic as they overthink everything. For some, the condition has minor symptoms, and they may feel uncomfortable in social settings. For others, they may experience symptoms of nausea and heart palpitations caused by panic and anxiety attacks.
You might have heard of post-traumatic stress disorder, which occurs when an individual is exposed to intense, stressful experiences. This can occur in soldiers and even children that have been exposed to abuse. These disorders can lead to further problems, including alcohol abuse, drug use, and depression, as they might struggle to move forward.
Mental health disorders are severe, and should all be treated equally and respectfully. If you feel that you are suffering from a condition, you should reach out to your local GP or support service for advice. If you suspect someone of having a mental illness, try and be strong support for them, so they have a helping hand through the difficult times.
To say that life has changed for many of us over the last few months is quite an understatement. Never, in the world's history, have so many people had to stay in one place for such an extended period.
The coronavirus is easy to catch and can be deadly. To stop the virus from spreading, people must avoid moving around. In best-case scenarios, people have switched to working from home.
Yet others have unfortunately lost their jobs or their businesses have stopped making money. Wishing each other good health has taken on a new and significant meaning.
By staying home we may avoid the virus, but how do we keep ourselves fit and healthy?
The temptation to sit around watching movies all day and snacking on junk is too much. How do we keep ourselves mentally fit?
How to Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy While Stuck at Home
As mentioned, fitness is much more than the absence of illness.
To be fit, the mind has to be healthy.
A healthy mind and a healthy body complement each other. But how do we maintain that under the current conditions in which we’re living?
There are some simple tips that we can use to get started.
1. Be careful with your diet
Eat healthy, home-cooked meals.
A lot of people complained about the lack of variety in their diet when food delivery was impossible. Without access to food like pizzas and burgers, they said, life was boring. Yet this was great news for their health. Processed foods with high fat and salt content are not good for health.
2. Have a basic routine for all your activities
Yes, I know everybody says this. But that’s because it’s 100% true. Confinement in the house makes routine essential. This is so you won’t forget to do anything important. Arrange a time for cleaning the house, a time for doing your office work, and time to spend with your children. Set a routine and stick to it for the good of your mental and physical health.
3. Be active during the day
If you’re active during the day you’ll be able to sleep better during the night. Some people have allowed laziness to creep in. They are staying awake all night and sleeping during the day. It’s not an agreeable habit.
4. Remember to get enough sleep
When someone is getting proper sleep, it solves many health problems. Sound sleep lowers the blood pressure and lessens anxiety. It also helps the body tissues to repair themselves. Getting a proper amount of sleep at a proper time is essential in the long term for good health.
5. Work on improving your immune system
Even when we take all the right precautions and stay healthy, there is always the possibility of catching the virus. In this scenario, a strong immune system is of vital importance. Studies have found that vitamin D boosts immunity.
There are various ways people can get their vitamin D. Sunlight is an excellent source of Vitamin D. It's also found in fortified breakfast cereals and fortified milk, both dairy and non-dairy.
To improve immunity, it's also advisable to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Always drink enough water to keep up your hydration levels. Exercise also boosts the immune system by flushing out bacteria and increasing the production of white blood cells. Both of these are important to increase immunity.
6. Attend to your spiritual needs
Religious services can’t take place under lockdown. Social distancing is almost impossible when sizeable crowds gather.
Yet people still have spiritual needs, which are especially important, especially during the lockdown. Religious communities are reaching their faithful followers through the power of the Internet. You may follow an organized religion or you may follow an alternative spiritual path.
Either way, there are resources available on the Internet. Most spiritual centers have websites and newsletters to which you can subscribe to stay updated. Many of them teach online courses too.
7. Remember to disconnect
Internet connectivity has been a lifesaver for many of us. It enables us to keep in touch with our family and friends at the touch of a button. But we shouldn’t stay online more than is necessary.
Take a break from the screens every so often and connect with the space around you. Let there be a few hours every day that you don’t go online. Too much connectivity can have a damaging effect on our mental health as it raises anxiety levels.
8. Adapt your exercise plan
Many people today have a regular exercise routine. It could be an exercise class in a local gym a few times a week or a long walk several times weekly. For some, no less than a trip to the gym will do. We need some imagination and creativity to figure out how to carry out our exercise while maintaining social distancing. The psychological problems attached to being stressed during difficult times tend to melt away with physical activity, so it’s important to keep active.
You can use exercise DVDs or YouTube videos for instructions. Some yoga and fitness instructors have started giving virtual classes, making it possible to carry out your exercise from a safe distance. Take advantage of what your living space has to offer. Do you live in a building with a staircase? That’s a readymade gym machine.
Depending on the staircase, you can plan to walk up and down them several times daily or weekly to get your exercise, if you have the stamina for it.
Making Your Gym at Home
Those who have some home gym equipment like a treadmill or an exercise bike can get full use from it now. But even a skipping rope, or a rope which you can use as a skipping rope, is a valid piece of gym equipment. You could also use a chair and use it for sits-to-stands.
No Excuses Necessary
The point is, being confined by the limitations Covid-19 has placed us under is no reason to neglect your health and fitness.
In fact, it is the perfect time to improve it. Don’t use lockdown as an excuse to avoid taking care of your health, mental, and physical. It is also important that you help the people around you to stay healthy.
Don’t be afraid to talk to your family to let them know the benefits of a healthy mind and body. None of us have experienced such a difficult and stressful time in our lives.
However, with a positive attitude and a focus on remaining active, we will get through this difficult time.
This article was written by Niall Hally of Village Physiotherapy. Niall has helped his clients exercise during lockdown by providing online tutorials and videos which has been essential in keeping his business running. It has also helped him provide an essential service for people during the lockdown.
TED talks are always a good resource for getting inspired, and on the subject of mental health, it can be especially beneficial to expose yourself to a wide variety of personal and professional accounts. Mental health is a topic rife with taboo, prejudice, and stereotypes, and this list of TED talks will bust open your assumptions about mental health.
Amongst these powerful TED talks, you’ll discover difficult subjects such as depression, schizophrenia, and suicide being handled with compassion and tact.
The talks feature a range of perspectives from neuroscientists and psychologists to comedians; from those who study mental illness to those who suffer from it – and occasionally both!
1) Your Brain Is More Than A Bag Of Chemicals From David Anderson
David Anderson is rethinking the brain. Describing the traditional view of the brain as “a big bag of chemical soup”, in this powerful TED talk Anderson explains how his research is giving him and his colleagues a new view about the structure of the brain and the role of the brain chemicals in mental illness.
Anderson argues that by pinpointing the location of the release of these chemicals we can develop new and highly specific treatments for an array of mental illnesses from depression to schizophrenia. With charisma and charm, he explains how he’s using a bunch of fruit flies to help him do so! Let Anderson take you on a journey through his research and in doing so you may end up understanding your own brain a little better.
2) There’s No Shame in Taking Care of Your Mental Health From Sangu Delle
Sangu Delle begins his emotional TED talk from a place of personal experience. As he faced up to his own anxiety and depression, Delle was forced to tackle his own assumptions and prejudices about men and mental health. In this piece Delle allows us to join him on the journey he underwent – from toxic masculinity to emotional maturity.
Subtly unpicking the intersection of race and gender as barriers to pursuing mental health treatment, Delle is on a mission to undermine the stigma of mental health. As Delle emphasizes in his personal account anyone can suffer from poor mental health. Becoming comfortable talking about your emotions is an important first step for anyone to take in pursuing help.
3) Why We Choose Suicide From Mark Henick
Like Sangu Delle, Henick begins his TED talk with a moving personal account of his own experiences, this time not just with depression but with thoughts of suicide. The topic itself is one surrounded by profound taboo, and the value of Henick’s open account is partially in demystifying something that’s hard to talk about, but utterly crucial that we learn to do so.
Henick’s dual perspective as both a patient and a professional provides him with a powerful platform from which to speak. Watching this video you’ll be struck by his sensitive understanding of the way a suicidal person comes to their decision, as well as learning ways to entirely reframe suicide to help those afflicted by its lure.
4) The Bridge Between Suicide And Life From Kevin Briggs
California highway patrolman Kevin Briggs’s 23-year career qualified him to talk about suicide in a most peculiar way. As guardian of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge for many of those years, Briggs was intimately involved with many people seeking suicide from its heights. His difficult but rewarding role as guardian of the bridge, and his close contact with many people at a time of crisis, gives him a unique and compassionate perspective on suicide.
Following Henick, Briggs is working in his own way to undermine the suicide taboo. His TED talk is brimming with practical advice for anyone dealing with a loved one who may be considering suicide. Watching this TED talk might even enable you to save a life.
5) How To Start A Conversation About Suicide From Jeremy Forbes
Jeremy Forbes’s charity HALT (Hope Assistance Local Tradies) works to support tradespeople – in Australia, overwhelmingly men – to access mental health support in their local communities. Touching on the complex issues of gender and mental health introduced by Delle, Forbes’s TED talk continues in the spirit of Henick in teaching us ways to support those around us struggling with suicidal thoughts.
Forbes’s work with tradespeople has made him a master of overcoming barriers to discussing mental health with the recalcitrant men in his community and his nuanced TED talk will provide you with essential tools for helping those around you.
6) Confessions Of A Depressed Comic From Kevin Breel
Kevin Breel’s intimate TED talk describes his struggles with depression and powerfully connects his feeling of “living two different lives” with a broad misunderstanding of how depression operates in functional and seemingly successful individuals. His emotional and intensely personal account will be at once encouraging for anyone who has experienced first-hand the deadly might of depression, as well as offering important tools for discussing it with loved ones.
By offering an atypical image of a sufferer of ill mental health – a functional, funny, and successful person – Breel undermines our biases around depression and creates the important space for beginning to battle against it.
7) Mental Health For All By Involving All From Vikram Patel
Patel begins with the shocking statistic that in developing countries, close to 90% of people suffering from mental illness go untreated (in wealthy nations it’s a still shocking 50%). Expanding the conversation about mental health from a Western perspective to a global one, Patel has developed a new approach to mental health services that can expand into the developing world.
Patel’s community-based approach to mental health treatment empowers ordinary people without years of training to intervene in mental health crises. This appeal to the compassion and care possessed by all people around the world has the power to greatly expand our ability to support those suffering from mental illness.
8) What’s So Funny About Mental Illness? From Ruby Wax
Diagnosed with clinical depression over a decade ago, comedian Ruby Wax has experienced first-hand the subject of her moving TED talk – the doubly cruel affliction of mental illness and societal discrimination that can follow it.
Wax’s personal and practical advice will help anyone suffering from mental illness to deal with the stigma that often accompanies it. As a walking counterexample to society’s stereotype of the mentally ill, Ruby Wax discusses a difficult subject with immense energy and humor in this TED talk.
9) The Voices In My Head From Eleanor Longdon
Eleanor Longdon’s experience with schizophrenia provided her with an up-close look at the ugly, failing system of mental health support in the UK. Describing her journey, which began with the sound of an innocuous narrative voice in her head, to hospitalization and then the long struggle back to mental health, Longdon offers a powerful account of living with schizophrenia.
Now a professional psychologist, Longdon makes the compelling and surprising case that her survival hinged on listening to those voices in her head. This TED talk undermines simplistic narratives about mental illness and conceptualizes her schizophrenia as a meaningful response to her traumatic childhood. Valuable for its personal and professional perspective, Longdon is likely to get you looking differently at mental illness.
10) Toward A New Understanding Of Mental Health From Thomas Insel
Thomas Insel begins with the analogy to physical health – through early detection, deaths from heart disease have been reduced by 63%. He asks: could we do the same thing with deaths associated with schizophrenia and depression? Insel believes that early detection of mental illness is possible through structural changes to our health care service and that it has the power to profoundly affect the outcomes of these illnesses.
Insel wants to reconceptualize mental health as stemming from “brain disorders” and this shift to an emphasis on the physical state of the brain will create the conditions for the early detection he advocates. His powerful thesis is based on research that in mental health, the behavior is the last thing to change – in Alzheimer’s, for example, the brain has been undergoing changes for a decade or more before it starts to affect behavior. Understanding mental illness as not manifested through behavior but through changes in the brain could be the key to timely and responsive treatment.
Research has shown that in the USA almost half of the adults will experience mental illness at some point in their lifetime, and yet as a society, we still struggle to talk about and understand mental health. The first step towards ending the stigma associated with much of mental illness begins with education and awareness. Engaging with this list of TED talks is sure to provide you with the tools to understand your own psychological impulses as well as support those you care about in their own struggles.
Canadian Fast Facts about Mental Illness
Who is affected?
Mental illness indirectly affects all Canadians at some time through a family member, friend, or colleague.
In any given year, 1 in 5 people in Canada will personally experience a mental health problem or illness.
Mental illness affects people of all ages, education, income levels, and cultures.
Approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some time in their lives. About 1% of Canadians will experience bipolar disorder (or “manic depression”).
How common is it?
By age 40, about 50% of the population will have or have had a mental illness.
Schizophrenia affects 1% of the Canadian population.
Anxiety disorders affect 5% of the household population, causing mild to severe impairment.
Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15-24-year-olds and 16% among 25-44-year-olds.
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in both men and women from adolescence to middle age.
The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.
What causes it?
A complex interplay of genetic, biological, personality and environmental factors causes mental illnesses.
Almost one half (49%) of those who feel they have suffered from depression or anxiety have never gone to see a doctor about this problem.
Stigma or discrimination attached to mental illnesses presents a serious barrier, not only to diagnosis and treatment but also to acceptance in the community.
Mental illnesses can be treated effectively.
What is the economic cost?
The economic cost of mental illnesses in Canada for the health care system was estimated to be at least $7.9 billion in 1998 – $4.7 billion in care, and $3.2 billion in disability and early death.
An additional $6.3 billion was spent on uninsured mental health services and time off work for depression and distress that was not treated by the health care system.
In 1999, 3.8% of all admissions in general hospitals (1.5 million hospital days) were due to anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, major depression, personality disorders, eating disorders and suicidal behavior.
Michelle had just turned thirty when she became engaged. At the same time, she was planning her wedding, she also took on two key projects at work and began volunteering at a new organization that started in her area as well as helping her sister pack for a cross-country move.
Rather than say “no” to any of these commitments, Michelle kept saying, “yes”. As her wedding date came closer, she felt overwhelmed, stressed, and scared. She could barely manage her life now. She couldn’t imagine adding another person to it.
A friend gently pointed out to Michelle that she had “overspent her yeses”. She explained, “Your ‘yes’ is how you spend your time, your energy, and your money. You only have a limited number of yeses to give.”
Michelle gave her friend’s words some thought and decided she needed to step back and say no more often. Along the way, she discovered some exciting benefits of embracing her “no”…
The 1 Word that Can Free You from a Life of Stress and Anxiety (and lack-luster relationships)
They might like a pushover, and they may enjoy getting you to do things for them (especially if these are their tasks, to begin with). But they don't actually respect and admire you.
Yet a funny thing happens when you say no, you earn the respect of those around you. They recognize that you have your priorities and your values. That instantly makes them admire you. They’re less likely to try to intimidate you or push you around.
Reason #3: No Lets You Focus on Your Values
When you say “no”, there's space to focus on your value. If you constantly agree to help on twelve different committees, then you’re saying no to spending more time with your spouse. Now if what you value is intimacy with your spouse, then you’re saying “no” to your values.
This creates a situation that is upsetting and painful. It means that you're not living out what you want. You're not walking in your values. As a result, you feel inauthentic and bitter.
Reason #4: No Creates Space for Others
It's tempting to think that everything must be done by you. But in reality, you can't handle every project and request that comes your way. When you try to do it all, you take opportunities from others.
Maybe a friend asks you to design her poster for her upcoming cafe opening. You're tempted to say yes, but then you think about Beth, who is getting started in graphic design and would absolutely love to do a project like this.
Now, you can step in and say yes, and be stressed out and angry.
Or you can suggest Beth instead and let Beth stand in the spotlight. Not only will you have less to do, but Beth is going to be happier and your friend is going to be happier.
Reason #5: No Protects Your Energy
Women in today’s society are often encouraged to wear a “superhero” cape all the time.
They’re expected to be everything to everyone and do it all with a smile and a good attitude.
But what you have to remember is that you have a limited flow of energy. This means that when you encounter things that will drain your energy, you need to stand up for yourself and firmly say, “I can't do this.”
Perhaps you could recommend another person for this task or suggest an alternative. You could also simply say, “I'm sorry. This doesn't sound like a great fit for me right now.”
Keep in mind that just because you overcommit does not mean you will magically gain the energy, the strength, the stamina, or the time you need to accomplish everything.
Reason #6: No Adds Margin into Your Days
When you are constantly overcommitted, there is no margin in your life. For example, if you plan back-to-back meetings all day, with no margin, then by the time you hit the end of the day, you're hungry. You're stressed out. You’re feeling grumpy because you’re overworked.
But when you say no, you create that margin your mind and body desperately need. When you don't commit to every meeting or every project, you can show up and bring your best self, best energy, and best focus.
Reason #7: No Gives You Confidence
The reason so many women say yes is they want to be liked. But when you realize you can live without the approval and validation of others, it's entirely freeing.
Suddenly, your whole world opens up. You don't have to spend your evenings going to the book club if you hate the book club. You don't have to take every call from your cousin who just wants to complain about her ex-husband again.
You no longer have to work for everyone's approval. The moment that you realize this—the moment you realize that you can say no and still have people like you—you become liberated.
Reason #8: No Makes Room for Self-Care
It’s common, especially in Western societies, for women to feel like they must always be busy and always be productive. This leaves you very little time or even no time for self-care most days. But when you say “no” to what doesn’t matter, you’re making room for self-care.
Your self-care can look like anything you want it to. Maybe self-care for you is spending one night a week at home to read a book in a bubble bath. Or perhaps it means that you have time to take your kids out for a walk after dinner every night. Maybe that makes you really happy and that's self-care for you.
As you say “no” more, embrace taking care of yourself. When you’re a priority, amazing things start happening. You show up to events and meetings feeling energized and excited to face the day. You greet challenges with enthusiasm, and you trust yourself to find the best possible solution.
Reason #9: No Gives You Back Control
Without a firm “no”, you can feel like your life is spiraling out of control. You feel like everyone else is making decisions for you. You're busy working on everyone else's priorities. You’re meeting their needs and yet you don't feel good about yourself.
Saying “no” gives you back that feeling of control. It reminds you that you are in the driver's seat of your own life. You are picking and choosing what your priorities are and living according to your values.
Reason #10: No Makes Your “Yes” Precious
When you say “no” to the wrong things, you get to say “yes” to the right things.
You get to say yes to the things that excite you.
Yes, to the projects that energize you. Yes, to the relationships that fulfill you.
Yes, to the dreams and the goals that truly matter to you. Yes, to the values that reflect who you are as a person.
At its core, saying “no” is about choosing what doesn’t matter and refusing to give it any more space in your life. When you do this, you have the freedom to say “yes” to the things that truly matter to you!
For those of us who spend a good amount of our time sitting behind a desk, getting in some exercise isn’t always something we make time for – but it’s an important component in resetting your mind and body, which will ultimately help you to minimize stress levels.
When you think of committing to a regular exercise routine, you might feel overwhelmed. After all, most of us live extremely busy lives and it’s not always easy to find that extra time to squeeze in a workout.
But in truth, all it takes is 15 to 30-minutes a day, most days of the week, to see an increase in your overall mood and stress levels. Plus, there are simple ways to incorporate exercise into your existing lifestyle, such as purchasing a work desk that allows for adjustable height so that you can spend a few minutes every hour standing while working.
Every time we exercise, our bodies naturally release endorphins. These endorphins are hormones that travel throughout our body, giving us a boost of energy, and actively ridding the body of stress and anxiety.
To get an idea of just how much exercise can improve your mood by releasing these powerful endorphins, take 10 minutes, and either walk or jog lightly in place.
Incorporating exercise into your life will also help with your stress levels if you’re overweight, or suffering from other types of health problems. It’s a win-win!
Exercise contributes to a healthier lifestyle, thereby fighting obesity and helping your body perform at the top of its game.
If you’re concerned about your weight, start by walking 20-minutes a day, and if necessary, break it up into 10 or even 5-minute sessions.
You’ll be surprised at how much stress you’ll relieve just with some basic exercise, and you may also lose some weight!
In addition to these benefits, exercise can also give you some much-needed alone time so that you can reset your mind and spirit.
Whether you’re a parent with a full-time job outside of the home, a college student who is constantly surrounded by roommates, or you simply live a hectic, pressure-ridden lifestyle, everyone needs some time by themselves.
Throw on some headphones and listen to your favorite podcast, or leave them at home and just work out in peace. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your stress will subside just by giving yourself the opportunity to recharge.
Between releasing endorphins and getting away from it all, plus making a healthy lifestyle change, you’ll find that exercise is a natural stress relief that everyone can benefit from. Give it a try!
Tip #2: Limit Incoming Noise
Access to the Internet has brought a lot into our world: convenience, social networking, the ability to work from just about anywhere. But with it comes an extraordinary amount of stress.
Just think about the last time you sat down to watch your favorite television show. You were probably distracted by your mobile device, which means that you most likely didn’t absorb everything that you watched.
And it’s not your fault.
We’ve become almost numb to the sound of notifications going off on our phones and tablets, incoming emails, alerts, and a myriad of other online signals that pull our attention in a hundred different directions.
If you work online, the constant incoming noise can leave you overwhelmed and stressed. You feel pressured to respond to customers quickly, or perhaps you’re trying to manage several different businesses at once and find yourself constantly having to refocus your attention because you have so many things happening at once.
It’s important to learn to cut out the noise, disconnect, and recharge your mental and emotional batteries.
Not only will this help you manage stress levels by giving yourself a mental “time out”, but ultimately, the downtime will boost creativity levels and help you run your business more efficiently!
The most important time to disconnect from the internet, however, is shortly before we go to bed.
Staring at a screen and scrolling has been linked to insomnia-related issues (which lead to high-stress levels). For a good night’s sleep, turn off all mobile devices about an hour before your bedtime.
Try reading a magazine or physical book, or watch some light TV. Do some type of activity that isn’t too engaging but still somewhat stimulating so that your mind is able to stay focused while still being able to wind down and relax.
If you’re concerned about someone not being able to get a hold of you in case of an emergency, then turn off your notifications in the settings section of your phone and tell people to only call you for emergencies beyond a certain time.
It’s important to focus on your own personal downtime every day, even if it’s just an extra hour away from the chaos of your business life. There’s only so long you can move at a rapid pace before getting burn out, so learning to set a schedule and sticking to it will ensure you’re always performing at your very best.
When we don’t rest enough at the end of our day, our body can tense up and it leads to irritability and depression. And when we’re irritable or depressed, we’re stressed.
On the other hand, that doesn’t mean you should sleep for an incredibly long time.
If you sleep longer than your body actually needs, then you can become sluggish and listless which can also lead to stress when you’re unable to meet deadlines, get through your personal to-do list or simply feel down that you aren’t being productive.
Oversleeping can make you just as irritable and stressed out as not getting enough sleep.
To determine just how much sleep your body needs, it’s important to establish a regular sleep schedule, even on your days off.
It will force your brain to go into shutdown mode at the same time every night, regardless of what you have planned for the next day.
Once you make this change and catch up with your sleep, you’ll find that you’re less stressed, and overall, much happier.
To establish a regular sleeping pattern, you’ll just need to do a few things each and every day.
For some people, caffeine may not be a good idea at all.
Everyone has a different caffeine threshold, right? Some people can handle a lot, some just a little, and some not at all.
It all comes down to your body’s overall chemistry.
Reducing your caffeine intake, be it in the form of coffee or other high caffeinated beverages, is a natural way to reduce and relieve stress. Just as many of us need caffeine to function after waking up, too much can make us jittery and scatterbrained.
Try cutting back just one cup a day and see how you feel. Depending on the outcome, keep doing this until you find your threshold.
Who knows, you may find that you don't need caffeine at all!
Tip #5: Put Yourself First
So many of us are afraid to say no when people reach out for help, advice, and support, and by not considering whether saying “yes” is good for us, it can easily lead to incredibly high-stress levels.
Are you someone who often takes on more than you can handle?
Are you a “yes” person?
Are you finding yourself emotionally and mentally depleted because you give so much of yourself to others?
Are you struggling through toxic relationships that don’t add any value or happiness to your life?
And being a “yes” person doesn’t just apply to your personal life, but quite often “yes” people are the same way with their jobs or careers.
They don’t want to miss out on an opportunity so they sign on for as many tasks or projects as possible.
They’re worried that they’ll fall behind the competition, so they say yes to every marketing strategy or new course that pops up online claiming to help them enhance their business skills.
Sometimes managers will reward hard workers with a higher workload output, assuming they’ll be motivated by the bonus despite any consideration as to whether they will be able to perform consistently at the required level.
All of this often backfires since people can only do so much before burning themselves out and depleting themselves of that creative energy and motivation to excel. Even if you’re someone who thrives under pressure, the truth is, we all have a breaking point.
If you find yourself in this situation, take a step back and look over your workload. Ask yourself what you can get done within a reasonable amount of time, and then discuss this with your manager, business partner – or simply yourself!
Explain why taking on a heavier workload will cause your current one to suffer in quality. And if you work for yourself, consider restructuring your schedule and reducing your workload by getting rid of the tasks that you don’t personally need to do. Learn to delegate or outsource.
If you’re a student who is constantly stressed out about your course load, then consider taking on a lighter one next semester, or if it’s not too late, dropping one you’re currently enrolled in but that you may not need.
Or perhaps you’re going to school full-time while also working full-time. Look at the benefits of going part-time, see if you can rework your budget and make it work.
In the long run, these changes might require that you stay in school longer than you expected, or change your current living situation, but your mind and body will thank you.
Above all else, be selective with your overall workload and what favors you do for people. Prioritize what household chores need to be done, what bills must be paid right away, and know when to say no.
If someone else is asking you for help, then chances are good they understand what it means to have too much on your plate.
Tip #6: End Procrastination
Putting tasks off until the last minute can add a tremendous amount of stress to your life, especially if they’re important tasks with a specific deadline. And while it’s often hard to get things done in a timely manner, it’s not impossible with a regular routine.
Whatever tasks you need to accomplish, it’s important to write them down on a To-Do list or use an online project manager to help you stay on track. This can be for your personal or work life, or you can even have separate lists for both.
Put the tasks that are most important at the very top of your list, paying close attention to whether they are actually of utmost importance or not (it’s easy for us to prioritize the tasks we actually enjoy doing over the ones that truly move the needle in our personal or business lives), and then make your way down the list. Be sure to include due dates, too.
And avoid scheduling tasks back to back, leaving chunks of time in between each one. You can use this time to reset or just do something that you enjoy doing.
It’s important to feed your soul throughout the day, as that’s an easy and natural way to relieve stress.
For example, if you are responsible for more than one project at your job, prioritize the one with the earliest deadline and put it at the top of your to-do list.
Break it down into segments throughout your day, allowing time for coffee breaks, and some social interaction.
Writers are notorious for producing more words each day by using what are called “sprints”. This is where they write steadily for 20 minutes, then stop for 5-10 minutes, then repeat. By breaking up their processes so that while they are in a sprint they are laser-focused on the task at hand, while also knowing that a mental and physical break is coming up, they are able to stay focused while also ensuring they recharge and reset.
The same goes for household chores, too.
If you feel overwhelmed by everything that needs to be cleaned and organized around your home, then create a to-do list or download a household printable that makes it easy for you to keep track of your objectives.
This will help you keep track of the progress you’ve made so you aren’t feeling overwhelmed. Then work your way down the list to the very last chore that needs to be done.
Remember that when we’re stressed, it often affects how we think and that will reflect in our work.
Quite often, we realize far too late that pushing ourselves beyond our mental capabilities results in not only poor output and quality, but we end up taking longer to do simple tasks because we aren’t giving ourselves a chance to recharge.
Tip #7: Listen to Music
When you think about reducing your stress levels, you probably also think about peace and quiet. And while silence can be calming, there are genres of music that can promote tranquility and inner peace which results in lower stress levels.
When it comes to lowering blood pressure and heart rate, turn to slow-paced instrumental music. For example, classical music with violins or a piano can be very comforting. The soothing sounds will help you feel relaxed and grounded.
You can also try listening to culture-specific music such as Celtic music from Ireland. The beautiful sounds will help calm your mind and make you feel at peace.
You should also consider Native American and Indian music, which have similar effects to classical. Just close your eyes and listen for 10 to 15 minutes and you'll find almost instantaneous tranquility.
And of course, you can also unwind with the sounds of nature. If you live near a wooded area that’s quiet, go outside, close your eyes for a few minutes, and just listen. Picture in your mind the sounds of birds chirping at each other.
If this isn’t an option, then simply search for “nature music” online and see what comes up.
There are thousands of videos full of birds chirping, wolves howling, and other nature sounds that’ll help you relax in no time. (see below)
Tip #8: Cut Back on Carbs
A diet full of processed foods can increase stress levels in our bodies. Unless you immediately channel all those carbohydrates into fuel, such as for a workout, they can easily turn into insulin and wreak havoc on our systems.
So, if your diet is fairly high in grains and sugar, consider cutting back and see how much it helps your stress levels. When you do cut back on carbohydrates, you’re bound to feel significantly less sluggish.
Just think about the last time you ate a generous portion of bread, and how you felt immediately afterward.
Plus, studies have shown that easing up on carbohydrates helps reduce your risk of getting diabetes.
So, if you’re looking for a natural way to relieve stress, try slowly cutting back on carbohydrates by:
Eliminate sweet, processed foods.
Using lettuce instead of bread for your sandwiches.
Replace your morning bagel with an egg-white omelet full of veggies.
Purchase keto buns and bread substitutions.
Replace sugary drinks with diet alternatives.
These are just a few suggestions on how you can easily cut back on carbohydrates for a healthier lifestyle.
Tip #9: Passionflower
If you’ve been to the grocery store lately, then you’ve probably seen a lot of drinks that are made with passionflower. As opposed to energy drinks, passionflower is actually used to calm you down.
In addition to that, the valerian root also contains the antioxidant Hesperidin and Linaria. These antioxidants actually inhibit excessive activity in the amygdala, which is the part of our brain that responds to stress with fear.
If you’re interested in this miracle herb, you can take it just like a passionflower. Look for it in the form of a supplement, brew it as an herbal tea, or use pure valerian root extract.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to relieve stress, but it does require paying close attention to your triggers and making a consistent, conscious effort to reduce your stress levels wherever you can before it catches up to you.
I suggest making one change at a time and sticking to it for a week or so. Once that change becomes a habit, move onto something else, if needed. Incorporate the ideas into your lifestyle until you have the perfect mixture of stress-relieving tools.
Remember to stretch throughout the day too, as tense muscles will only add to your stress levels. Make sure you have the right mattress for your body type and determine just how much sleep you need.
Above all else, the most important thing is to keep everything balanced and to try not to overwhelm yourself by taking on more than you can handle. When your mind becomes cluttered due to anxiety and stress, it’s hard to think clearly.
I hope you find all the tips in this article helpful for your new, less-stressed life!
And remember to always carve time in your day to feed your soul, as this will surely keep stress at bay!
Here are links to a few resources that I believe will help you: