Lets face it, we really need to handle stress at work at the moment!
Working from home, managing children who want to play all the time, lock down, social distancing, trying to keep yourself motivated – it’s enough to try anyones patience. But 7 weeks into lockdown and it’s not surprising that even the most resilient of people are struggling to handle stress at work.
But did you know that taking a little gentle exercise on a regular basis can have a powerful effect in helping you to handle stress at work?
Let’s get physical
The physical benefits of exercise are vast and not only keep you fit but have long been know to prevent physical conditions and dis-ease.
Exercise is also considered crucial for maintaining mental fitness, and helping you get a handle on stress at work (and home!).
Moving your body on a regular basis reduces fatigue, improves alertness and concentration, and enhances overall cognitive function. This can be especially helpful when stress has depleted your energy or ability to concentrate.
How to reduce stress by moving your body
Exercise has a profound effect on stress and anxiety for a number of reasons. For a start when you move your body, the body starts to release a cocktail of natural chemicals.
One of these chemicals is endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killer and lower the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Serotonin, a neurotransmitter which regulates sleep, libido, mood, energy and appetite is also produced when you move your body, promoting that feel good factor. Increasing the production of these natural chemicals in the body not only helps to reduce your stress and anxiety levels, but increases your overall health, wellbeing and resilience.
A study conducted in 1999 by A. Blumenthal, Ph.D. demonstrated that regular exercise is also as effective as antidepressant medications for patients with depression.
While there are restrictions in place during Covid19 on how much you can exercise outside, you can still find ways to exercise indoors if you are in isolation. Create a daily routine of exercise through a mix of yoga, low impact aerobics and core work.
If you are able to leave the house, even a daily power walk is enough to get the heart beating faster and activate the lympathic drainage system – the bodies natural way of removing toxins.
The key to handle stress and protect your body in the long run from stress is consistency. If you are new to exercise that’s OK, start small and increase the amount and intensity weekly and notice the positive benefits on your mood, mindset and sleep.
Now where did I leave my trainers?