According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), depression leads to over 800,000 deaths every year, making it the second leading cause of death among 15 to 27-year-olds (Guardian.ng). Numerous studies and clinical reports have been able to prove the underlying cause of depression among young and the middle-aged. The result is quite simple: stress.
Stress is a mental or emotional strain on the body soul. It is often caused by tension and demanding life activities such as work, family, poor health, trauma and significant others. If you frequently encounter severe mental and emotional pressure at the end of each day, these are signs of stress. To avoid it, folow these few strategies.
Plan your day, the night before
Planning creates an avenue for the mind to settle down and prepare itself for the task ahead. The mind is more active and articulate when its daily activities are programmed ahead–especially before bedtime. In other words, you cannot expect a stress-free mind when it is, suddenly, exposed to loads of demanding activities–without prior notice. Plan your tomorrow effectively before going to bed today.
2. Begin each morning with exercise
Sometimes, we wake up in the morning feeling sick, sluggish and tired. These are usually early signs of anxiety and stress. At least 15 minutes exercise every morning is all you need to lit up your day. Exercise triggers the secretion of different feel-good hormones—endorphin and dopamine—which helps to re-awaken the cognitive brain cells, strengthen the bones and muscles, helping the body maintain agility and flexibility all day.
3. Do the most difficult task first
You probably are like me who would often dodge the complex jobs and focus on those simple, time-consuming. Then, at the end of the day, I find myself brooding over my inability to accomplish that ‘difficult one’ which is usually the most important. Just follow the simple rule: eat the frog as Brian Tracy would say. Resist that temptation of postponing. Whether you’re in the mood or not, just do it. No matter how difficult and time-consuming it is, just do it. I tell you, even if that is the only thing you accomplish that day, you’ll never cease to be happy. So, do the difficult tasks first.
4. Focus on one thing at a time
When we have so many things at hand with the same level of urgency, we are often tempted to do all at the same time. This is what I call multitasking 101—a simple “jack of all trade, but master of none.” Multitasking is the easiest way to kill the brain and land oneself into an everlasting state of depression and stress. So, to avoid going through that route, focus on one thing at a time.
5. Healthy Breakfast does well
Don’t skip breakfast. First meal of the day is like a house’s foundation. Healthy breakfast boosts the mood and increases energy level throughout the day. It is, however, advisable to eat more proteins, fruits and vegetables in your first meal.
6. Run from procrastination
It got to a point in my life, I just had to face a simple truth: procrastination is the termite of productivity. I was always fond of “I’ll do it later,” and that later never come until the ‘dying minute.’ I had four months to read for a very important exam, but I did not until 7 days after. You’ve got to see the tension. I had to stay awake all night, skip relaxation and nice food in the day. At the end of the struggle, I broke down with a high fever. Why heap another burden on the next day? Complete today’s task and let it go with the day.
7. Celebrate your success
Celebrate the little achievements you make each day. Even if it’s as simple as typing a 500-words document—common! That’s a huge progress, so give yourself a treat. Why? Celebrating one’s success boosts self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment. And, according to research, those who feel good about themselves are the most productive people. Simply put, celebrating success boosts productivity and reduces stress.