Cutting stress before you hit the office
New Zealand’s favourite wellbeing expert answers readers’ questions about their health and wellbeing.
Recently I’ve noticed that when I arrive at work I’m already stressed and flustered. In between the kids drop off and catching public transport I somehow manage to begin this process before I even set foot in the door. Any tips to stop this stress? Thanks, Marie
Hi Marie, Some of the world’s busiest people attribute their ability to remain calm amidst the juggling act of life, to their morning ritual. Whether it is five minutes, 20 minutes or an hour, whether it is a game of tennis, a walk, meditation, reading or simply drinking a cup of tea while you gaze out the window and think of the things in your life that you are grateful for, time by yourself can set you up for a day with more energy.
I cannot encourage you more to invest in a morning ritual that you don’t compromise. It’s also incredibly important to schedule downtime and prioritise it. It is very difficult to be kind and patient with other people when you are not allowing yourself a little bit of space to do so. Another suggestion might be to make a green tea when you arrive at work. Drink this away from your desk and allow yourself the space to transition from your ‘morning’ to your working day. I have a big breakfast but by the time it gets to about 10am, I’m absolutely ravenous. Why am I so hungry and what can I do about it? Thanks, Allan.
Hi Allan, I would look at what you are having for breakfast, as there is a chance this isn’t serving you, even though it’s ‘big’. Is your breakfast high in refined carbohydrates such as a processed breakfast cereal? If you are having a carbohydrate rich breakfast such as muesli or porridge consider changing this to a protein rich breakfast such as eggs, home-made baked beans or a breakfast high in good fats such as eggs and avocado.
Good fats and protein are particularly satiating which may help keep you feeling fuller for
longer. The other thing to consider is when you’re actually having breakfast – you may be up at 5 or 6am and therefore are naturally hungry around 10am. In this case, you just need to take a morning tea such as a handful of nuts, a bliss ball or even a smoothie.
Food is supposed to fuel us and keep us energised so if you notice that you regularly feel hungry not long after eating I would encourage you to look at what you’re eating, consider the macronutrient groups – ie does it contain protein, carbohydrate or fat? Then consider if perhaps you need to experiment with other foods.
Find a morning ritual that doesn’t involve swords and children so you won’t get stressed before you get to work.