Are you stressed out?

Do you find yourself zoning out for hours in front of the TV? You might be coping with stress.

Elmarie Pretorius, Owner of The Mindspa Institute (Soft Skills training company), International speaker, trainer and author gives you 5 coping skills to reduce your stress and anxiety levels.

There are obviously many reasons for stress and also many ways we try to cope with it. Different people also cope in different ways. Unhealthy ways of coping with stress include: smoking, drinking too much, comfort food, zoning out for hours in front of TV, sleeping too much, using pills to calm down, procrastinating and lashing out at others.

Through all my experiences in coping with a demanding job, being a working mom and being married i picked up a few skills I would like to share with you. Sometime you feel so out of control in the face of stress that you forget that YOU are still the regulator of your lifestyle, thoughts, emotions and how you deal with various problems.

I learnt, the hard way, that stress management is about changing stressful situations which you can’t control by changing you reaction which you can control, as well as to take care of yourself and make enough time for rest and relaxation. First determine the sources of stress in your life. Major stress related events include changing careers/jobs, moving, losing a loved one etc. OR you can have a stressful job or family life. The key to stress management is to learn healthier ways to cope.

• Get active – stress decreases when you act out in a healthy way like exercise. You need not be an athlete to benefit from this coping mechanism. You can dance in the rain, take your dog for a walk, cycle to the grocery store, use the stairs rather than the elevator, play ping-pong or play with your kids.

• Get social – you take your mind off of your stress when you are socializing with friends, going to a movie or simply chatting with your family. Note this does not mean social media or sitting on your phone the entire time chatting into space. NO this means face-to-face interaction.

• Avoid unnecessary stress – learn to say no. People pleasers listen up! Know your limits both personal and professional. You don’t HAVE to do everything and anything just to please. Avoid or limit time spent with those people who stress you out. Take control! Turn off the TV if the news freaks you out. Hate going to the shop? Stop and shop online.

• Alter the thought – each time you have a negative thought ask yourself what is positive about this situation or how can I make this scenario work to my advantage. Look at the bigger picture and ask again “will this really matter in a month or year?” Sometimes your standards are just too high. Is demanding perfection really reasonable standards? Learn to be OK with “good enough”. Changing your expectations will help you to adapt your attitude.

• Accept – Some things you cannot change. Don’t try to control all the situations and always look for the upside. Here is something people rarely think of, but learn to forgive. You feel so much lighter once you accept, forgive and forget.

• Make time – Have some fun! Your fun toolbox can include anything from taking a walk in nature, working in the garden, watching a comedy to getting a massage or playing with your kids. Remember to book a time to relax, do something just YOU enjoy and have endless laughs.

• Get healthy – a healthier lifestyle is a must. Don’t drink too much, eat healthy energizing foods, reduce caffeine and sugar, avoid cigarettes and drugs and GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
We live in stressful times. Everyday offers different kinds of stress and worries. If you feel like you can not cope with managing your time and stress, we offer corporate and public courses and help you to develop skills to cope.

The Mind Spa Institute, established in 2007, is a soft skills training organization accredited by SETA and aligns with all SAQA’s standards and NQF levels. What makes them a preferred training partner is that they provide customized business and people solutions developed in-house made relevant and useful in the corporate and public sectors within South Africa. Their “hands-on” experience at leadership level helps give an in-depth understanding of what a company culture, vision and mission brings to the table in every organization.

Please view our website www.themindspa.co.za or contact liezl@themindspa.co.za or phone 087 754 6185 to enquire about the corporate and public courses available.

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