When family is demanding, you're trying to keep up with the weekly house chores and work is giving you nothing but anxiety and sleepless nights, that date when you depart for your cruise can seem a long way off. Here are some simple ways to lower your stress levels and combat the daily grind.
1. Buy yourself a new diary and make lists visual.
There's no point in lying in bed worrying about all the things you have on your To Do list. If you're finding that you can't switch off your brain at night, in spite of your physical exhaustion, don't fight your head, get up, grab your diary and write down everything you're fretting over so that you can drift off to sleep knowing that these challenges can be crossed off or dealt with one by one in the morning.
2. Spend a Sunday making a week's worth of meals to freeze or store in the fridge.
Of course the last thing you feel like doing on your day off is slaving in the kitchen but all it takes is one day of organisation and you will have the joy of coming home every night with groceries purchased, a homemade meal already prepared and when you've been stuck late in the office waiting only 5 minutes for a soup or a lasagne to warm up is certainly a luxury you'll appreciate all week long.
3. Ask for a work-from-home day
The usual response to this tip is: "My boss would never say yes". But it's all about how you approach the situation. Be sure to set out clear goals and explain to your superior that a set of definitive items can be completed by the end of the day so that there is some way of them being able to verify your productivity and ability to work autonomously.
4. Try exercising throughout the day
It sounds counterintuitive but working your body will actually give your more energy than if you sat in a chair all day. If you're so stressed that you can't fall asleep, going for a short jog before breakfast or a gym workout after work will help tremendously because the endorphins help calm your nervous system and the physical activity will ensure a deep night's sleep as your muscles will need rest.
5. Change your diet, avoid sugary foods and meal skipping
What we eat and drink directly influences our coping skills. When we're stressed we reach for sweets, high fat foods, alcohol or coffee because we want to reward or comfort ourselves in times of desperation. The problem is that unhealthy food will give you instant relief or satisfaction but then drop you down from that sugar high and leave you feeling depressed and lethargic. Try getting a fresh fruit and vegetable juice into every day. Not one with sugary yoghurt and milk or ice cream but a raw fruit/vege juice that will quickly and efficiently give you your daily intake without taking too much time out of your busy schedule.
6. Hydrate yourself more for clear thinking
Sounds simple but we all forget. Water is more important than you can imagine. Often we think we're tired or suffering from a headache when the real problem is dehydration - even during the cooler months of the year.
7. Eat a high protein breakfast
It does take some effort to start your day with an egg, salmon, nuts in your muesli or quinoa, however, the results are incredible. While a healthy breakfast of fruit and yoghurt is nutritious, if you're in a job where you're on deadlines and struggling to handle your workload you need maximum energy throughout the day and the only solution in this case is to start with a high protein meal.
8. Cut out TV in the evenings and the mornings
It's easy to lose track of how much time is spent in front of the TV and after a long day of dramas it's extremely tempting to collapse on the couch. Don't do it! This time could be spent writing lists for the following day or getting to bed early so that you wake feeling refreshed. While in the morning, use the time to arrive at work without rushing as the repeated routine of racing out the door will only heighten your stress levels. Falling asleep in front of the TV means your sleep will be interrupted and when watching television it becomes easy to procrastinate after dinner if you have work to finish.
Is all that stress creating havoc for your skin? Here's a quick guide to clean skin in time for your cruise.
Want to de-stress onboard the ship?