Deadlines at work, social commitments, exercise and keeping up with the latest episode of Game of Thrones - the strains of 21st century life are endless. A recent study by the Australian Psychological Society (APS) reveals that over 1 in 3 Australians are significantly more stressed than 5 years ago. As stress can actually make existing problems worse and even cause disease from constant high levels of cortisol in our body, it’s important to look after your wellbeing.
But don’t worry - you don’t need to be a fan of yoga and mindfulness to de-stress. There are other (productive) solutions to detox your life. Lifestyle & Wellbeing coach, Suzanne Williams offers her top tips to help you have a more peaceful 2017.
1. Eliminate the clutter
The saying, ‘a tidy home equals a tidy mind’, is one of the simplest but most effective pieces of advice. De-cluttering your home and getting it in order has proven to improve wellbeing. Skip the Saturday brunch plans and put a few hours aside to get rid of clothes and items that you don’t need. If you don’t want to throw away cherished items, keep in mind there are storage solutions like the Airbnb of storage Spacer.com.au, where you can affordably rent out space. You are essentially renting space from a local resident, which is up to 50% cheaper than commercial storage and much more convenient!
2. Organise your pantry
Some say that a happy tummy means a happy mind! But maintaining a healthy food relationship doesn’t only come down to consuming the right food, it is equally important that your food is planned, well organised and visually pleasing. One step to achieving this is to organise your pantry. Invest in boxes that you label for each type of food. Throw spices in one, baking products in another and why not have one for ‘naughty’ food? Compartmentalising food can make people feel more in control, which can help improve eating habits, which is a great way to boost wellbeing.
3. Psychological properties of colour
There are certain colours that can psychologically make you feel calmer. Green can remind us of nature and is known for being visually balancing. Pink promotes a sense of nurturing and femininity, white symbolises clarity and space, whilst purple oozes luxury and decadence. Why not take this a step further and make your bedroom into your very own retreat. Choose what colour will help you feel calm and if painting a whole room is too much, add simple touches through soft furnishings which can be just as beneficial.
4. Bring the outside in
Being outdoors is proven to improve mood and to reduce stress, but finding that time to go out for a walk is easier said than done - especially if you are a city dweller. But don’t worry! You can still benefit by introducing plants and flowers into your decor to create zen-like greenery in your own home. Not only do they look stunning, they also help purify the air and get rid of toxic pollutants, ultimately reducing stress and tension relief.
5. Practice gratitude
It has been shown time and time again, the positive impact that gratitude has on our health and wellbeing. When you are more thankful for the amazing things in your life you will begin to 1) gain more perspective and 2) be happier with what you have. Both of these outcomes help your brain centre in terms of its reaction to stress and help to keep those nasty cortisol levels at bay.
6. Let tech do the job
In our tech infused society, we rarely use paper and pen to organise our life and bills. Thankfully, there’s a bunch of new apps and online tools that can help you make the tangible intangible, like the scanning app Camscanner.com where you can scan in your bills with your phone. Going paperless can reduce those stress levels as it’s all organised on your smartphone.
7. The worry box (Android)
We all know that sleep is the key to a peaceful mental state, but getting that beauty sleep while stressing about work and personal life is not the easiest. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a “storage solution” for all your worries and concerns? Well there is! New anxiety app, The Worry Box, not only helps you identify your worries but also teaches you how to file these away. Say goodbye to those thoughts going around and around in your head that prevent you from getting your well deserved sleep.