Don’t be a stress ball

NLP practitioner and life coach, Romy Toussaint, explains the importance of making time for yourself throughout the year.

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of de-stressing and relaxing is usually the thought of going away on holiday – maybe sitting on the beach or soaking up the scenery of a game farm, but, mostly, it’s waiting for the celebrity month to grace you with her glorious presence…December. I hear it all the time, “I can’t wait for December, then we can go on holiday and relax.”

But is that enough? Racing through the year to get to December – allowing your days to be wished away, while your personal needs and your health are neglected or put on ‘hold’ – you’ll deal with them in December. But then, December arrives and so does that holiday and before you know it, it’s over! Did you get to relax? How many days into the holiday did it take to actually relax?

The truth is you shouldn’t only relax while on holiday, you should be finding ways to slow down regularly throughout the year. Relaxing equates to giving yourself time – time to put your feet up, time to unwind, time to de-stress and time to be in the moment. So, when you do have that well-deserved break at the end of the year, or whenever you can take it, it will be a wanted holiday, not a needed one! You’ll arrive less stressed, and you won’t have the pressure of having to de-stress and you can just enjoy it.

You may ask how do you give yourself this ‘time’ throughout the year? Firstly, you need to find your stress trigger – what is it that stresses you out the most? What area is the toughest for you? What is your common stress denominator? You might not be able to change what stresses you out, but you can change how it affects you – you can change the time you give it, take control of what you can and be aware of not giving too much time to what you can’t control.

Then you need to figure out what activities de-stresses you the most. It can be more than one thing, but when you do find it – whether it’s reading, going to gym, walking, soaking in a bubble bath, knitting, phoning a friend or a family member, riding your bike, singing loudly in the car, playing sport or building a puzzle – make it a priority!