With the average working American putting in 44 hours a week on the job and also spending an average of 27 minutes commuting each way for a total of almost an hour lost a day on the road, it’s no wonder many people feel overworked and over-stressed. If you’re one of the many people who also go back to college or who work a part-time job along with your full-time job, your own wellness can start to suffer.
The effects of stress on health are well documented. An American Psychological Association stress survey found that because of stress, nearly one third of respondents had “skipped a meal because of stress in the past month,” over 40% “reported overeating or eating unhealthy foods because of stress,” and “more than 40 percent reported that they had lain awake at night.”
It’s important to take your own well-being seriously, even for those with the busiest schedules. Try the following to take better care of yourself when you’re overworked and over-stressed.
The power of meditation has long been discussed by spiritual and wellness gurus, but there is also hard research that shows meditation has the ability to improve your health. Meditation can help improve symptoms from conditions like anxiety and depression. Taking time to meditate can also help with physical conditions like blood pressure and irritable bowel syndrome.
If you have trouble clearing time in your cramped schedule to meditate, consider meditating at non-traditional times. Think about taking fifteen minutes from your lunch break, sneaking in twenty minutes during your kids’ daily screentime, or even using headphones with meditation friendly music during your daily commute on public transportation.
Yes, your mom was right, you probably do need to drink more water. While you can hydrate with other beverages like juice, soda, coffee, or tea those items can have a less than beneficial effect on your overall wellness. Juice and soda often have high sugar levels which not only can affect your waistline but can also cause spikes and valleys in your blood sugar levels which could affect your mood. Coffee and caffeinated teas can potentially have diuretic effects, which might leave you less hydrated than if you’d had an equivalent amount of plain water instead.
The effects of even mild dehydration can seriously affect your overall wellness. If you’re even slightly dehydrated, your cognition levels could drop, affecting your ability to concentrate and possibly even affecting your short term memory. Dehydration can also impact your mood, and make you feel more fatigued.
One of the best ways to de-stress is to carve out some time in your day when you’re not at the mercy of your phone or computer. Taking a twenty-minute break to exercise, or even do something like take a bubble bath can help you feel refreshed and allow you to refocus your mind.