It is the month of November already, the dusk of 2017. For most people good and bad memories of the year begin to resurface around now. The aftermath of choices, decisions, deadlines, plans, projects are being evaluated.  In these latter months of the year, deep, intense and negative thoughts can be major stressors for a lot of individuals.

To manage stress during this period, now is a good time to start to highlight the positive points in your life, your career, your relationships and the choices you have made during this year.  It is an appropriate time to emphasize the ‘pros’ of your decisions and downplay the ‘cons.’  This month is the time to start activating the ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters of oxytocin, serotonin and dopamine in your brain.  In this period, focusing on the positive places in your life will trigger your parasympathetic nervous system and ultimately reduce your stress level and eliminate most stressors.

Though stress is an inevitable part of living, its consequences can be quite far-reaching. Some of the symptoms of a stressed life include anxiety, moodiness, fatigue, increased blood pressure, body ache, irritability and difficulty carrying out regular day to day activities. A stress-free season must be our goal during this end- of- year period. Below are some tips for achieving this:

1. Get a Calendar: Calendars help in organizing activities. They keep you informed and up to date about activities and events you must do. It can be a hard copy in a diary or soft copy on your phone. The important thing is that it is easily accessible to you.

2. Make a To-Do list: A paper and pen is all that this requires. Simply make a list of all the things you need to accomplish the next day for your eyes only. Make sure you write every little thing down- from big office tasks to simple tasks like “buy fruits on my way home”. These little tasks on the list can make you feel very accomplished because you are likely to do them.

3. Start to prioritize: We often spend the end of the year stressing over finishing last-minute reports, wrapping up back-burner projects and squeezing in just one more meeting before the holiday. This year, with any item on your to-do list, ask yourself, “Is it a high-level priority or can it wait?”

4. Learn to delegate: Recognize that some people are better than you in certain areas. Identify various peoples’ strengths and learn to use them especially in the workplace and even in the home.

5. Use breathing as a  daily stress-busting ritual: Incorporating regular deep breathing into your daily routine is the cheapest, easiest way possible to foster a sense of calm throughout your day. Try setting your phone alarm twice a day for a breathing break (preferably, late morning and late afternoon). Take three deep breaths into the pit of your belly, evenly inhaling to a count of three, holding for a moment, and exhaling to a count of three. Do two rounds of this and then on a third round, double the length of your exhalation. This will trigger a physical relaxation response.

6. Review your calendar once a week:  Have a day to review schedules on your calendar. Examine what is happening in the upcoming week, include whoever and whatever needs to be involved. This will give you room to prepare ahead and pressure will be reduced at the set time.

7. Don’t take things personally: Try not get defensive or upset when someone lashes out at you. It is extra important to give people the benefit of the doubt at this time of year—accepting that they may be more stressed than usual.

By proactively managing your stressors, you’ll finish this year and start the new one in an all-around happier less stressful place. Don’t let these stressors get in your way of enjoying the holiday season.

Don’t forget – The body keeps the score!!

Best Regards,
Chiadi Ndu
& all of us @ BTH Wellness and Therapy

Contact us:
Phone No: 09098587959, 09090409229
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