In our modern society, our lives are more fast paced than ever before. Longer work hours, advanced technology, constantly raising standards and new social pressures are putting us under ever increasing levels of stress. I have personally found myself getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of London life and almost losing myself to my work, and I don’t want you guys to do the same. As a result, I have compiled my top tips to de-stress:

Make relaxation part of your routine.

I have been guilty in the past of living my life at 100mph and never taking time for myself. I ended up tired, ill and close to burning out. This was the point when I realised things had to change. I started to schedule in down time. Now I spend a minimum of 30 minutes a day (if not longer) doing something for myself, something that relaxes me. I consciously remind myself to chill out, relax and put myself first. As a result, I have a more balanced life, I am less stressed and I am actually more efficient with my work.

Disconnect.

We spend our lives glued to our phones, laptops and tablets. We are constantly bombarded by notifications, emails, messages and calls. We mindlessly scroll through social media. Many of us get stressed at the idea of spending a few hours without technology….and this is exactly why we need to separate ourselves from it. Every so often switch off your laptop and put your phone on airplane mode. Don’t check them for 30 minutes, an hour or longer. It is amazing how much more we connect with those around us and the environment, when we disconnect from our devices.

Take it back to your childhood.

By this I mean… get a colouring book! I know what you’re thinking, what the hell Zanna?! Trust me, investing in an adult colouring book and some crayons was one of the best decisions I have made. Sitting in a quiet place, listening to some calming music and colouring my book is one of my favourite ways to calm myself and take some time out. It allows you to disengage from whatever is on your mind and focus on something super simple. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

Get outdoors.

As someone who has spent the majority of their life living on a farm in the middle of nowhere, I truly appreciate the outdoors and countryside. Sadly, the rolling hills of Yorkshire are not accessible from my central London flat. However, I find that even just taking 20 minutes to walk around the local park or down the riverbank really helps to clear my mind, make me chill out and gives me space and time to think with more clarity.

Be social.

When I first came to London I would come home from work at 9pm, do emails until 10pm and then go straight to bed. I had no time to go for drinks, socialise or even just chill with my housemates. I soon realised that this was not a life. I was putting friendships on hold and finding it hard to keep in touch with my parents. Work is important, but the relationships you have are even more so. I started to prioritise my social life. I cut down my work hours so I could spend time with others. Even just spending 30 minutes at night chatting with my housemates makes such a huge difference to my happiness and stress levels. I make sure to avoid talking about work or business. It is such a positive way to end my day and helps me to switch off. Plus, my friends and family never fail to make me laugh… and laughter is the ultimate stress-reliever. So prioritise your social life, have a giggle and give an old friend a call. Appreciate those around you, spend time with them and I promise it will make you feel calmer.