It seems that 2020 will go down as the most stressful year yet. With all the uncontrollable upheaval and turmoil the world has experienced this year alone, we could all benefit from a few pointers for stress management in light of the year-end rush to finish up work and get the party started ahead of the much anticipated 2021.

1.A healthy body equals a healthy mind

Most of the stress a person experiences lives in the mind. Nine times out of ten, you’ll find that a healthy person is better able to keep control over their mind and doesn't sweat things they have no control over anyway. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise and eating a healthy, balanced diet. If you’re not practicing this already, try it and enjoy the results you’ll achieve in as little as a week.

2.Diffusing essential oils

Recent studies have revealed that using essential oils can improve moods and promote all round well-being. Diffusing oils have wonderful benefits for the olfactory system, nevermind aiding stress levels.  Oils to look out for are lavender, rose and ylang ylang which each contains stress-busting properties.

Lavender essential oil. Photo: Healthline

3.There’s something about nature

Getting outside has a nearly instant positive effect on the mind. Next time you’re hyperventilating over something that’s just gone wrong, try taking a walk outside.

Cycling in Karura. Photo: afromaisha.com>

The sun on your face alone will instantly boost your mood. Try a walk at The Nairobi Arboretum, hiking Ngong Hills, or cycling in Karura Forest over the weekends as these activities are hugely beneficial in aiding stress relief.

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4.Make use of cleaning services versus going at it alone

Cleaning your house can be a stressful task, particularly if you have a full-time job in the week which brings with it its own stresses. If you leave your home cleaning to the weekend, scrubbing down an entire house by yourself will not only eat up all your weekend rest and social time, but will probably leave you feeling more stressed by the end of that cleaning session. Let the professionals handle this task and make use of services such as SweepSouth which, at the touch of a button, will send over some efficient help that’s reliable, professional and efficient.

5.Take a break

Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks. Studies suggest that taking short breaks actually helps manage stress, and improves work productivity. Next time you’re feeling guilty about taking a breather, simply consider the improvement of your personal productivity level let alone the easing of stress.

6. Get some sleep

You’re not going to achieve much if you’re feeling rundown or tired. Make sure to switch off all devices by 7PM and consciously start winding down. Getting into bed earlier helps you fall asleep faster, so this is a notable tip for the insomniacs.

Make use of blue light dimming apps such as Twilight which is more pleasant on the eyes for night reading and turn these on at least two hours before bedtime.  Also, turn your bedroom into a sanctuary so you look forward to retiring there for the evening. Introduce comfy bedding and pleasant scents to enhance relaxation.

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These pointers will help relieve stress and hopefully become habits you can take into the future to better manage your stress levels and mental health.

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