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STRESS - beating it to the punch

Stress is a sneaky wee thing. It can creep up on you completely unaware, knocking you down when you least expect it. If you're busy it's easy to forget to look after yourself. It is all too easy to let things get on top of you. However, looking after number one doesn't have to be difficult. The idea is to prevent stress, before it presents itself.

Get Moving. We're not saying you have to take up boot camp or run a marathon, but simply get your body moving. Take a long walk in the weekend, try swimming a few laps in a pool or simply park further away from the office and take the stairs, rather than the lift, where possible. Exercise has been proven to clear the mind and boost energy levels.

Make a list and write down what you have to do and in what order. Work your way through the list one task at a time, from the most pressing to the least important. You'll be amazed at the way a list can clear your mind about the day or week ahead, not to mention how motivating it is to cross each task off!

Step outside for some fresh air and vitamin D, both of which are hugely underrated. It's likely that in this day and age, your office is fairly mobile. If you can, take your phone calls outside or reply to a few emails on your smartphone. If you don't get a chance to take your work outside, make sure you take a five minute break or a walk before or after lunch.

Book a ticket and flee. That's right, take a break. Reserve a seat and go. It may only be for a weekend or you may choose to take some of that well deserved leave. Either way, by stepping away and shutting off for a time, you're bound to return refreshed and revived with more energy. Ward off that burn out!

Be aware of what it is that usually makes you stressed in the first place. Think back to previous situations when you've felt like things are getting a bit much. What is the trigger? By shining a light on what instigates your stress, you may be able to see it coming and deal with it more promptly in future.

Stress can still break its way through, despite your efforts to stay on top of it. Remember to take a deep breath and if need be, take a step back. Things will only get worse if you're not around, so remember to take care of yourself first.


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