With their driven nature and focus on achieving their goals at all costs, it’s no surprise that CEOs and entrepreneurs tend to suffer more from burnout than other employees.
In fact, such is their commitment to their cause that half the time these ambitious females don’t even realise they’ve only managed an average of four hours sleep a night.
At the same time, their ‘meals’ have probably consisted of regular carbohydrate snacks throughout the day rather than a nightly sit down protein-packed feast preceded by a decent breakfast.
Fortunately, the signs of adrenal stress are incredibly difficult to disguise. These include irritability for no reason, difficulty sitting still (with relaxing impossible), and not enjoying favourite past times as much as previously.
If this article is beginning to ring bells, don’t panic – there are a number of things to do in order to recharge your life and bring some much-needed balance back into your day-to-day existence.
Learn to meditate
Yes, ‘mindfulness’ is such a buzzword these days. But there’s a reason for that—it’s because it works. The practice of learning to clear your mind and focus on one thing at a time – or even to completely ‘zone out’ – has long been shown to help with anxiety, concentration and to lower blood pressure.
A US study on Transcendental Meditation in 2012 found it even helped reduce heart disease. The beauty of meditation is that even 10 minutes a day can prove beneficial.
Eat more greens
Certain foods contain nutrients which can help boost the mood and lessen anxiety by producing serotonin. These include magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, avocados and various nuts/seeds, for example, pumpkin and sunflower.
Brown rice and grains such as quinoa are similarly beneficial. Complex carbohydrates in the form of oats, millet and sweet potatoes are slow releasing so energy levels are maintained throughout the day. In other words, lean towards being more vegan, diet-wise.
Get a change of scene
Taking time off to travel is a great way to reduce stress. Even if it’s just for a couple of days, the benefits of seeing different surroundings and forgetting everyday niggles allow you to take a step back and re-assess what’s going in your life right now.
That’s because with no ongoing work and pressing deadlines to distract you there’s more of a chance you’ll be able to focus ‘on the moment.’ Chances are you’ll also return to work more refreshed and far more motivated than when you left.
Experiment with acupuncture
The ancient Chinese art of acupuncture involves inserting needles into certain points of the body in order to unblock stagnant ‘chi’ and in doing so rid the body of illness, including stress.
And indeed, a study by US doctors at Georgetown University in 2013 showed that several applications of electronic acupuncture lowered anxiety in rats. Pressure can also stimulate acupuncture points and which is why various forms of massage are also touted as stress-relieving.
Stretch in a Yoga or pilates class
Gentle exercise such as Yoga and Pilates relieves stress and boost energy in a number of ways. A major effort is made by both, for instance, to focus on the breath.
Taking proper deep breaths oxygenates the blood in our bodies and which in turn encourages the brain to feel calm. Any anxiety is reduced as a result.
Stretching also releases tension in the muscles and allows the blood (and therefore nutrients) to flow more easily throughout the body. We’re also far more likely to get a deeper night’s sleep if our muscles are relaxed.
About the author
Dominica Roszko is a health expert and the founder of Vegerasta.