We’re not halfway into the year yet and it seems like the world has gone insane. Between the locust invasion in East Africa, Coronavirus spreading rapidly across the world and climate change, it’s easy to be anxious and stressed.

If you are looking to reduce stress, here are a few things you should consider letting go of for your own sanity.


1. Dwelling on the past

Moving on can be difficult, especially if you are holding on to something that cuts deep down.

However, holding on to hurt will not help you heal or change the past. It’s better to focus on what you can change – yourself. Your past doesn’t define you. Treat your mistakes are lessons and use them to grow.

How do you move on? Accept that whatever happened can’t be changed, forgive yourself and others and grow from the experience.

2. Social media comparison

It’s not a myth that social media can affect your mental health. In a world of curated perfection, it’s easy to constantly feel anxious.

If you consume yourself with comparing your life with that of others, you can never be truly grateful for yours. Click To Tweet

Be thankful for how far you’ve gone and work to ensure that many doors of opportunities open for me.

3. Over-Scheduling

If you are taking on so much that you feel like you are stretching yourself beyond your limits, you might be suffering from ‘yes’ syndrome.

Constantly saying “yes” without thinking or checking whether things fit with your goals is unhealthy. It’ll leave you constantly busy with little productivity.

To break this habit, focus on your priorities. To check yourself, here are a few questions to ask yourself before you say yes:

  • Will it stop me from having time for me?
  • Am I saying “yes” because I feel bad or guilty?
  • Will saying “yes” delay me or lead me closer to my goals?
  • Am I automatically saying “yes” without thinking about it?
  • Will saying “yes” stop me from relaxing, having fun and spending quality time with family and friends?

4. Not auditing my circle

While forming relationships is important, you need to manage your inner circle personally and professionally.

For instance, if you have close friends who don’t support and push you to become the best version of yourself, it’s time to take a look and ask – “Who am I associating myself with?”

Whether you are networking up, down or sideways, always focus on maintaining relationships that build you up.

5. Not practicing self-care

Even computers need sleep. Even the most effective systems in the world need a rest period. The human body works the same way.

When you push your body to its limits without getting rest, there are very serious health consequencesI’ve been there.

If you are running a chaotic schedule, integrate breaks into your schedule, book regular checkups with your doctor to hold yourself accountable, and make time to do the things you enjoy.

Take your rest as seriously as you take your grind. Click To Tweet

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How to build a daily culture of rest (The rest rituals of the rich)

We live, work and play, burning out and hoping for resuscitation over the holidays Click To Tweet

I learnt that we do not have a culture of rest in our society and holidays reveal that for me personally. We live, work and play, burning out and hoping for resuscitation over the holidays. You can’t put your wellness on the line for 350 days and hope that in 2 weeks you can snap back! We need to build a ritual of rest, all successful people have some type of ritual that involves treating their bodies with care, so perhaps this is one you can adopt.

Last year, I started reading “Thrive” by Arianna Huffington, but I stopped because I felt that Arianna was telling people to slow down on work after she had sold her business for $315 million to AOL! I was like “let me do that first and then I will rest!” But this holiday I dusted off my copy of “Thrive” and reread it to find some daily rituals I can practice going into the year!

Here are my top 5 rest rituals I am challenging myself with this year.

1) Quality sleep: 7-8 Hours a night

As an entrepreneur that works from home, it is very difficult to unplug and go to sleep, especially towards the end of the month. The Harvard Medical School’s Division of Sleep Medicine states, “sleep deprivation negatively impacts our mood, our ability to focus, and our ability to access higher level cognitive functions: the combination of these factors is what we generally refer to as mental performance.” Therefore, to be smarter, you have to sleep more; not less! In this instance, I encourage that we sleep our way to the top!

Now sleeping isn’t getting into bed and scrolling through time feeds until you fall asleep, you need to completely shut down before you get into the bed and be prepared for sleep.

Here are a few things you can do to cross over into la-la land:

  • Make your bedroom darker (use lamps or candles) and keep it cool;
  • Practice deeper breathing before bed (I’ve tried this, it does work)
  • Banish all LCD screens from the bedroom at night (cellphone- charge it in the lounge and buy an alarm clock, laptops, TV, tablet)
  • Get a nice set of pyjamas, instead of a t-shirt, that will excite you to get into bed.

2) The power nap

If you decide to nap, you are actually in good company with the likes of former US President John F Kennedy, inventor Thomas Edison, and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Their naps would vary from 20 minutes to 2 hours and even up to 6 hours! The most bizarre nap I have heard of is that of Salvadore Dali, the artist, who would nap for 1 second! He called it “slumber with a key” where he would sit in a chair, holding a key and place a plate on the floor so that when he fell asleep the key would fall onto the plate and wake him up! Allegedly Albert Einstein did the same, so it may be worth a try! Slumber is the key!

Side note: These are all men, can we take up the challenge of becoming famous women nappers??!!

Consider a 30-day social media hiatus at least once every 6 months Click To Tweet

3) Unplugging

We live in a hyper connected world where we probably know more about whats going on around us than we do whats going on inside us.

I did not think I was addicted to social media until I watched Simon Sinek’s talk on Millennials in the Workplace, which you can see here. A warning, do not watch this video if you aren’t ready to make some changes, I was not ready!

I strongly recommend a 30-day social media hiatus at least once every 6 months.

4) Minimalism

This is a concept I came across recently, so I am also learning! Minimalism is about owning exactly the right things, for you and your needs, and no more than that, so that you then have more time, energy, and resources (including money) to spend on the important stuff.

Stuff costs money and it takes up a lot of space -a lack of both can lead to stress- which does not help to rest! Living with less is not just about getting rid of junk and making extra cash from selling your hoarded items. It is about living with passion and purpose and less about living for things.

I have read about people living with just 50 items and up to 300 items. It’s about frequently asking the question, ” Does this serve a purpose in my life?”

Living with less is living with passion and purpose Click To Tweet

5) Quiet time

Call it whatever you want, meditation or prayer or power hour or stillness. Whatever word you decide to use. We all need at least 5 minutes or an hour to connect with our source of wisdom and power. I personally use this time to read my Bible and pray.

Binge watching series, Netflix, and chill are not resting or recuperating, at best it is escapism. I think implementing each or one of these simple steps on a daily basis will allow us to cultivate a culture of self-care, taking rest daily instead of waiting for the next holidays.

What are some of your tips?