You want success, and you work hard for it; but could your constant urgency and lack of rest be inhibiting your productivity? This article explores the importance of recharging your body and mind- read on to learn how!
Whether you’re a leader, business owner, employee or entrepreneur (or maybe a combination of all four), you are sure to experience a degree of stress at some point in your career. Deadlines, long hours, uncertainty, performance problems, and working relationship breakdowns impact our stress levels and ultimately affect our happiness.
At work, we often focus solely on being productive and accomplishing goals, but this tunnel-visioned approach can cause burnout if not balanced by some quality R&R.
How are burnout and stress impacting your body and mind?
In 2018, more than half a million people in the UK1 suffered from work-related stress. With mass job losses, working from home and managing the challenges of a pandemic, the figures are sure to have risen throughout 2020 and into 2021.
When you experience work uncertainty and stress, your body enters a default state of survival. In this fight or flight state, the body’s sympathetic nervous system activates and releases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline.
Fight or flight is our body’s response to avoiding predators and reacting to danger- real or imaginary. It has its place, but it can negatively impact our health when activated for an extended period of time.
Beyond this, survival mode can also trigger the amygdala hijack, a response which often causes anxiety and a downward spiral of emotional outbursts and overreactions.
Stress is both a psychological and physical experience. If you’re experiencing work stress, you’re not alone, and there are ways to manage it. Ignoring burnout can impact your health, and it’s simply not worth it.
How to recharge and reset?
Understanding what helps you to relax is essential. Here are some common ways to find calmness, activate the parasympathetic nervous system (your body’s answer to recovery and rest) and recharge your brain for success.
- Cook something.
- Read a book.
- Yoga or exercise.
- Breathing exercises.
- Book a massage.
Having ‘me time’ can allow us to be more present and productive at work. If you struggle to find the time, try scheduling your ‘me time’ into your calendar/planner/diary – show it the same importance as a work task or meeting.
Five ways to find clarity and calmness in nature
Exploring nature and being outside is a great way to recharge your brain. The benefits of being outdoors are endless; here’s five:
- Soak up some sunshine.
Vitamin D has many benefits, including maximising your calcium absorption, improving blood flow and promoting bone health. Spending time outside and enjoying the sunshine is great for your body and your mood. Just don’t forget to be sun smart!
- Unplug to de-stress.
Are you attached to your phone, tablet, laptop or smartwatch? Is your screen time above 3 hours a day? When we receive a notification and use our phone, it releases dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel good. It’s the same chemical released when addicts gamble or consume drugs. Next time you explore nature, try to unplug your devices and switch off for the duration of your outside time.
- Sleep better with sunlight.
Being outside and getting some sunshine helps regulate the body’s melatonin production- a hormone that controls our internal clock and allows us to sleep at the right time. Better sleep assists with psychological and physical recovery, helping you to reduce stress.
- Breathe in the fresh air.
Your body has to work harder to get oxygen in indoor or polluted environments, raising your blood pressure and heart rate. When you’re outside, take a few deep breaths and observe how you feel.
- Get active and boost endorphins.
Outdoor exercise triggers the release of endorphins- neurotransmitters that make you feel good! After hiking, swimming, running or biking outside, you’ll feel calm and clear-minded.
How do you build resilience and recharge for success?
What are your non-negotiable habits for reducing stress? Share them with me by sending an email to [email protected] – I look forward to hearing from you!