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5 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Stress and Relax Completely

5 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Stress and Relax Completely

When was the last time you had a quality time dedicated to relaxing? The modern age we are living in forces us to spend more time at work, and since one day has only twenty-four hours, the contemporary “average Joe” chooses to renounce relaxing time in favor of work. Stress is on the rise for the past decade, and according to several statistics, around 80% of workers today are exposed to this condition.

Of course, there is an option to avoid stressful situations, but rather often, this is not possible. Stress is eating us from the inside out and makes our lives miserable if we let it take over. Still, devoting some time of the day to immerse yourself into relaxation is a good solution to battle stress, calm your nerves, and make you feel better.

The only important thing is, that you need to schedule that time and prioritize it. Don’t avoid it – it’s time for you to start caring about yourself.

Cancel all of your obligations tonight, and organize a relaxing and stress-relieving time.

When is a good time to relax?

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    Basically, any time can be determined for this. In general, I recommend the evening, or at least sundown when the city life is slowly losing its pace. There is also this soothing feeling, coming from the absence of daylight, which will help you to unwind while your body triggers the relaxing mechanism as it prepares to go to sleep.

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    On the other hand, if there is no possibility to separate some time for yourself in the evening, daytime is also suitable. Just remember to cover your windows. The color of the sheets covering the windows should not be aggressive, such as red or orange; choose a calming color such as cream or purple. It will bathe your room in butter-shaded color and calm you.

    For a start, put some relaxing tunes on, and set up the atmosphere. Luckily, the Internet is full of meditation tunes which can be used for free. Find the one which reflects your mood and suits you best.

    1. Wash away the stress

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      Simple lying on the couch and resting is a good practice in the prepared scenery. But, to relax and shake down all of that stress, you must do something prior enjoying in your peaceful oasis. Start with a warm bath, scented with a few drops of essential oils. There is one simple rule that must be followed – don’t think about anything. Concentrate on the warm sensation of water on your skin.

      This will help you not just to relax your muscles, but the clear your mind as well. Try to endure as high temperature of the water as possible, but be careful not to burn yourself. Hot water can help your blood course faster, making muscles supplied with oxygen more efficiently, and thus more relaxed.

      In case that you have chosen the shower over a bath tub, there is an Eastern wisdom about meditation which can suit perfectly to this situation. The feeling of your worries being washed away can be achieved if you focus on your senses. In order to improve this state, try closing your eyes.

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      2. Relaxing your body even further

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        After the relaxing bath, some people have the energy to do the things they like, and some people want to go even deeper. Many turn to sleeping, the body’s natural regenerating mechanism. It is ok, but today we’re here to reach the deeper levels of relaxation. To get there,  a massage is the next step.

        Since this is a guide for relaxing in your home, you’ll either order a masseuse to come to your house or get a massaging chair. If you are lucky enough to possess this wonderful chair, you just strap in and hit “play.” The speed, pace, and intensity are not universal, so you will need to experiment, and to see which mode suits you the best.

        Another add-on for ambient and overall improvement is scented sticks. Those can be bought anywhere, and the choice of the type of scent is left to you. However, pine, lavender, and bergamot are good to start with. Their primal purpose is to enhance meditation and give you additional focus, but the purpose of relaxing is also notable.

        3. Being creative

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          The next thing might be your favorite and possibly forgotten hobby. We all have that one thing we used to do daily, but we simply lack the time (willingly or unwillingly) for it. Whether that be calligraphy, maintaining your mini Zen garden, or playing an instrument, there is only one rule; do it.

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          Again, it is not the point of creating wonderful pieces of art; it is about you doing something that makes you happy. If you do not have any hobby, I recommend you to try painting. It is easy, and there are no rules or limitations. You do as you please, and quite often, being creative will make you feel better. Painting has a psychological effect of relaxation.

          Research results published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology are stating that people’s perspective can be changed if we practice hobbies on a daily basis. It might seem like a long-term goal, but you have to start somewhere, right?

          4. Have a delicious meal

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            A perfect relaxation isn’t complete without a proper meal. Regarding the type of food you like and if you like to prepare it yourself, get your food ready and waiting. We all love pizza, of course, but as I said, take it a bit further.

            Italian food is rather easy to prepare, and since it utilizes light ingredients such as pasta and chicken meat, it will not make you feel heavy after eating. One of my favorites is definitely Cauliflower Penne Puttanesca, a light, vegetarian pasta, which requires about 25 minutes to prepare.

            Of course, this exquisite meal should be paired with the matching wine, and if you can obtain a bottle of Villa Bucci’s Riserva, Verdicchio dei Castelli from 2009, it will be simply put, perfect. Wine is a somewhat sensitive drink, so it should be cooled to exact temperature (around 15°C). Luckily, there are many wine coolers & fridges which can do this for you. As a good wine enthusiast, I’m sure you already have a cooler. If not, consider having one.

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            5. The end of the night

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              After a good meal, you can spend the rest of the evening as you like. Personally, I love to take another round of easy massage while watching a movie or a TV show. In general, avoid watching TV while eating, because you won’t enjoy it as much.

              Also, a good book is a great suggestion, and whether that be something new, such as “The Wright Brothers” by David McCullough, or something more classic, like Shakespeare or Charles Dickens, the decision is yours. After reading, you can go to sleep, satisfied and happy; after all, you did something wonderful for yourself.

              Spare some time for yourself every week

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                It is not as much about the bathing, the wine, and food, as it is about YOU doing something you are not doing every day. After an evening spent like this, you will finally see the world as it really is, beautiful, colored and sparkly.

                But you did not change it, you simply swept away the heavy clouds of every day stress and troubles, and this enthusiasm is really contagious. The next thing you will want to do is to prepare a similar evening for your loving person, knowing how good it feels. Always have the time for yourself!

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                Dejan Kvrgic

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                Published on November 14, 2018

                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                Symptoms of Fatigue

                Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                • mental blocks
                • lack of motivation
                • headache
                • dizziness
                • muscle weakness
                • slowed reflexes and responses
                • impaired decision-making and judgement
                • moodiness, such as irritability
                • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                • reduced immune system function
                • blurry vision
                • short-term memory problems
                • poor concentration
                • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                Causes of Fatigue

                The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                Medical Causes of Fatigue

                If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                Anemia

                Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                Diabetes

                Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                Sleep Apnea

                Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                Thyroid disease

                An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                • Lack of sleep
                • Too much sleep 
                • Alcohol and drugs 
                • Sleep disturbances 
                • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                • Poor diet 

                Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                1. Tell The Truth

                Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                • How you feel
                • What time of day it is
                • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                • How your mind and body reacts

                This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                2. Reduce Your Commitments

                When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                4. Express More Gratitude

                Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                5. Focus On Yourself

                Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                7. Take a Power Nap

                When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                8. Take More Exercise

                The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                9. Get More Quality Sleep

                To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                10. Improve Your Diet

                Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                12. Get Hydrated

                Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                The Bottom Line

                These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                Reference

                [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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