Relaxation can also play an important part in dealing with stress. Simple ways in which you can find time for yourself are:
- Take time to enjoy a bath, light some candles, sprinkle a few drops of lavender aromatherapy oil into the water and play some gentle music while you take time for yourself
- Dim the lights in the lounge, play some gentle music, close your eyes and allow yourself time to relax
- Take some time to enjoy your garden or local park. Take time to look at all the trees and flowers
Learn to manage your time as effectively as possible. Time is a valuable commodity. How many times do you catch yourself saying, “I’d really like to but I don’t have the time” or “there just aren’t enough hours in the day”. Too much activity leads to exhaustion and too little and we come bored and frustrated. There are 168 hours in a week and 8,736 hours in a 365 day year so with a finite amount of time it is important that we make the most of what we have.
There are seven ways in which we structure our time:
Work time – time that is earmarked and committed to work whether paid or not
Home time – time we spend at home used for housework, DIY, gardening and personal grooming
‘Other’ time – time given over to other people, family, friends and children
‘Me’ time – personal time for our own hobbies or interest areas
‘Special’ time – time set aside for close relationships with partners
Reflective time – time we set aside to be on our own for personal reflection
Sleep time – time for physical relaxation and sleep
It is important that we make time for all seven activities as it is the balance between the seven which leads to a sense of overall well being. Draw a circle and rather like dividing up the slices of a cake analyse your week and see how much time you gave to each of the seven areas.
When you have completed your time allocation chart then ask yourself if you are happy with the way the chart looks. If you want parts of your chart to look different, you will need to make changes in the way you allocate your time.
For further reading: No More Stress!: Be Your Own Stress Management Coach