As a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach, I have seen how stress can impact busy professionals. With demanding work schedules, personal responsibilities, and the pressure to be constantly connected, it is no surprise that stress levels continue to rise. Many people are burning the candle at both ends with no end in sight. From my experience coaching high-functioning professionals, there is a need for those who ask a lot from themselves to create habits and ways to improve overall well-being. With that in mind, there are practical ways to manage stress and prioritize self-care, even amid a busy lifestyle.
One of the most effective ways to manage stress is through mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing. According to a recent article on mindful.org, mindfulness has numerous benefits for individuals looking to manage anxiety and stress. The article highlights the ability of mindfulness to help individuals become more present and gain insight into their thoughts and emotions. Additionally, mindfulness can create space around worries, allowing individuals to approach problems clearly. The article mentions the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program as a research-backed method for managing anxiety. It also explores the benefits of mindfulness practices such as meditation, explaining that even a few minutes of these practices each day can significantly reduce overall stress levels and improve mental health. Many clients find that starting with small ways to be present in the moment is an excellent first step to creating mindfulness.
In addition to mindfulness, regular physical activity is a crucial aspect of stress management. Exercise releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones, boosting mood and reducing stress:
. Even a short walk around the block or stretching exercises can help clear your mind and relieve tension. Movement has direct stress-busting benefits, reducing the adverse effects of stress and providing stress relief for your body by imitating the effects of stress
. Studies have also shown that people who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional well-being and lower rates of mental illness
. To make the most of exercise, it is essential to consult your doctor and build up your fitness level gradually before starting an exercise program. You should also pick an activity you enjoy and schedule it throughout the week, setting SMART goals and finding a support system to help you stick with your routine.
In addition to mindfulness and physical activity, prioritizing self-care in all areas of your life is important. This means making time for activities that bring you joy, such as reading, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing a hobby. It also means taking care of your body by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding unhealthy habits such as smoking and excessive drinking.
Developing a personalized stress-management plan takes time and effort, and seeking support from friends, family, or professionals can be helpful. Many people care about you and your well-being and would happily offer their support. However, sometimes you need to ask. By incorporating these techniques and seeking support, you can develop a more resilient mindset and lead a happier and healthier life. As a busy professional, it can be challenging to prioritize self-care, but doing so can significantly impact your overall well-being. Remember that managing stress is not a one-time fix but a continuous process. It requires consistent effort and a willingness to adapt and try new techniques. By prioritizing stress management, you can achieve a healthier work-life balance and live a more fulfilling life.
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Meet Our Contributor — Laura Hansen
Laura Hansen is a board-certified health and wellness coach on a mission to help people live healthier, happier lives through lifestyle medicine. She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, with a compassionate, gentle approach to guide busy professions to better health. Laura lives in the Pacific Northwest near the stunning Salish Sea, where she loves spending time with her four children and appreciating the natural beauty of the P.N.W. To get in touch with Laura or to schedule a free get-acquainted session, visit www.laurajanewellness.com