As we navigate city life, maintaining high-pressure jobs and keeping pace with a culture that fuels a ‘fear of missing out’, we inevitably take on mental and physical stress. While we know that stress is bad for our health, most of us tend to ignore it until we burn out. Let’s tackle the issue on an everyday basis instead and put self-care in the spotlight by following these easy tips.
Declutter your space
The messy geniuses out there won’t like to hear this, but Marie Kondo’s fame is proof that tidying up is good for you. On your next hunt for a misplaced bunch of keys, consider the energy and time (remember, time is money) you’d save if things were easy to spot or placed where they ought to be. Think of decluttering as a way to be more efficient and sharpen your problem-solving and decision-making skills. You don’t have to throw out every nostalgic trinket or colour-code your folders – rather, ease into an organised, minimalist lifestyle. The fewer non-essentials you have, the more you can focus on what’s important. Can you feel the stress starting to slip away?
Meditate and nurture positivity
A lot of stress stems from our way of thinking. Take time out every day to disconnect, free yourself from distractions, be still and breathe deeply to experience each moment fully. Practice meditation techniques that’ll help you reduce anxiety and boost mental clarity and attentiveness. Additionally, cultivate the habit of being appreciative of your life and everything around you. Lend a voice to good thoughts and read or listen to inspiring messages that’ll change your perspective from negative to positive. Writing in a diary and maintaining a gratitude journal are also great ways to ‘pen’ out the angst and keep an account of all that’s going well for you.
Stay active or play a sport
Feeling low or worked up? Sweat it out. There’s nothing like a good workout to relieve stress. Physical activity produces endorphins in the body, which acts as a natural painkiller, elevates your mood and self-confidence, and improves sleep quality. Generally speaking, regular exercise is the best way to lead a healthier, more fit life. Sign up for a gym membership and motivate yourself to follow through with daily sessions or pick a fitness class that you enjoy. Prefer to play a sport? Relive your school days of perfecting basketball slam dunks or swinging into formidable tennis serves.
Spend time in nature
Hiding under the blankets in the comfort of your own room may be a lovely counter-measure to a hectic day spent around town. Don’t make it a habit, though – at least once a week, get outdoors to experience rest and recreation in a natural setting. Soak up the fresh air, sun, sea and sand. For example, you can tune into the chirping of the birds and the rustling leaves in the wind of your local park, or explore Dubai’s vibrant marine flora and fauna in a scuba-diving or snorkelling adventure. Alternatively, go off-roading into the golden desert or the mountains of Hatta to enjoy a camping trip or barbeque with loved ones.
Create a calming ambience
When indoors at your home or office, find ways to feel at ease. The right ambience goes a long way towards facilitating a stress-free environment. Choose furniture, decor, colour palettes and lighting that have a serene, warm effect. Let in enough natural light during the day and grow indoor plants that purify the air and boost your mood. Enjoy music? Make a playlist of upbeat tracks or soothing instrumental, jazz, folk and indie music – hit play whenever you’re in need of a breather. Go further by placing essential-oil diffusers, Himalayan salt lamps or a selection of herbal teas and light, healthy snacks in strategic spots around you.
Indulge in a hobby
A regular dose of wholesome, recreational fun is like medicine for the soul. Find a few activities you enjoy and make them a part of your weekly routine. Develop existing talents – learn to play a new instrument, sing your favourite song, polish your footwork in dance classes or paint cooling strokes with art therapy. Want some alone time? Cosy up with a good book. At home? Plant your way to a lush garden in the backyard. Instead of mindlessly scrolling through your social media feed, be intentional with your screen time. Get familiar with the work of a particular filmmaker you admire or catch up on classic shows you’ve always meant to check out.
Spoil yourself with a pet
Are you an animal lover? Get a pet. The work of caring for an adorable puppy, kitten or other furry friend is nothing compared to the happiness it’ll bring you. A pet becomes a part of your family and will wholly reciprocate your affections. Interacting with pets releases a combination of hormones in the body which help lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health. Pets also keep you more active and are wonderful company. Want to add an aquatic feel to your home? Invest in a tropical aquarium. The sound of running water and the mesmerising flow of fish swimming back and forth are said to help combat stress and anxiety.
Never miss a beat this Dubai Fitness Challenge. From free classes to fun events, discover all the incredible ways to get involved – register today!