Taking a bath with candles or listening to your favourite music can be great stress-busters.
Taking a bath with candles or listening to your favourite music can be great stress-busters.

Make time to unwind or else

TAKING time out to unwind and de-stress is vital for good health and wellbeing.

But hectic work sched- ules, raising a family and the pressures of everyday life can leave little time for relaxation.

Active Living naturopath Vanessa Nunn said finding the time to “nurture yourself” was one of the best ways to beat stress.

Relaxation and “giving back to yourself” were part of living a healthy lifestyle, Ms Nunn said.

Ms Nunn said many people did not recognise that they were stressed until it led to physical health complaints, including fatigue, gut and nervous-system problems and adrenal exhaustion.

“A lot of people are selfless; they don’t feel deserving or worthy of taking time out,” Ms Nunn said.

She said many women, especially working mothers, felt guilty when they spent time doing something for themselves.

“It’s important to realise that if we ourselves are fulfilled we can give more to others,” she said.

She said relaxation was not costly or time-consuming.

Ms Nunn urged both men and women to schedule time each day, even if it was only 10 minutes, to unwind.

“Write it in the diary ... make it a habit,” she said.

She said things such as alcohol, stimulants, cigarettes and comfort food were often popular choices for those looking to wind down after work. While these options may offer initial satisfaction, Ms Nunn said more health-promoting activities would give better long-term results.

She suggested exercise, yoga and meditation as great stress-relievers .

Taking a bath with candles, listening to your favourite music, massage, using aromatherapy oils around the home, reading a book and even watching a great comedy were listed as other great stress-busters.

“Laughter is extremely good for the immune system,” she said.

Heading out to the beach or forest and taking in some deep breaths could also help, Ms Nunn said.

Because everyone was different, activities deemed relaxing would differ, Ms Nunn said.

She said to relax, individuals simply needed to do something they really enjoyed and found fulfilling, so long as it was not detrimental to their health.

Do you need to take time out to unwind? Naturopath Vanessa Nunn listed the following as some of the symptoms of stress:

  •  Inability to cope
  •  Anxiety
  •  Mood fluctuations
  •  Gastro/ intestinal complaints
  •  Fatigue
  •  High blood pressure
  •  Hair loss