While stress is often a normal part of our everyday lives, when it becomes consistent or prolonged, it starts to cause all sorts of issues in our bodies. Stress can result in those dreaded energy slumps, weight issues, anxiety, hormone imbalances and more. All of these issues can impact our relationships, our productivity, and most importantly our health.

And did you know that Australians are reporting higher anxiety levels than ever, according to a 2015 report by the APS? In fact, anxiety is the most common mental health problem in Australia, affecting around one in four people, with the leading causes of anxiety being finance and family issues.

So with that in mind, here are my top five tips for minimising stress during the home stretch of 2016.

Change your patterns

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With my clients I find that one of the biggest causes of stress (other than their health) can be procrastination. We’ve all been there; a task has landed in our lap and we don’t want to do it.

So what do you do in that situation? Do you dig deep and get the task over and done with, or do you let it sit and stress about the situation?

Here is my tip. Whenever there is something you don’t want to do, drop everything (if you can) and get it done immediately. If that can’t be done, then schedule it in for first thing in the morning. The sooner it is done, the better you will feel. You may also find that you set yourself up for a far more productive day as a result.

Try a digital-free day

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In this day and age of social media and emails, it’s easy to get caught up in the rush of work. The problem is that if you are switched “on” everyday, it can make it difficult to wind down. This may contribute to heightened stress levels (including an increase cortisol, the stress hormone) and ultimately becoming sick or run down.

Make sure you take at least one full day off work per week, your health will thank you for it. Further to this, try to get offline at a reasonable hour each night. If you usually go to bed at 10pm, try turning your emails off at 8pm so you have 2 hours to relax before bed. You may find that you get a far more restful sleep as a result.

Make time to exercise and look after yourself

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We are all guilty of making excuses when it comes to exercise and our health, often citing that we are too busy/ tired/have too much going on. But at the end of the day, if we don’t have our health then what do we have?

Make time everyday to move, even if it is just a 20-minute walk or stretch. Something is better than nothing. Looking after your body is important for all other aspects of your life so make sure that it takes priority.

Eliminate

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Is there something in your life or on your to-do list that makes you feel stressed and unhappy? Is it possible to eliminate the stress from your life with minimal consequences?

Well if it is, then do it. If that additional thing on your to-do list is not a priority and won’t make much difference to the outcome then eliminate it. If your relationship or your job is making you unhappy then look for alternative options. If your friends are causing you stress, well do you really need to see them tonight?

Think of the things in your life that cause you the most upset, and if you can minimise their impact, do it.

Book a healthy mini break

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I am a huge fan of booking mini breaks throughout the year as it keeps me motivated and gives me something to work towards. I like to ensure that the majority of my breaks are healthy ones, because even though I am a health coach I still spend a lot of my time in front of a computer!

This October (23-28) I will be hosting a holistic Women’s Healing and Yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali. This six day wellness journey is designed to help you realign with your divinity, heal, transform and connect with the likeminded guests at the retreat. The retreat will include revitalising yoga, movement, music and a sacred healing ceremony that aims to help you transform your life, connect with yourself and find your way back to balance, radiance and happiness.

Words by Nik Toth

nik tothNik Toth is a qualified holistic nutritionist, personal trainer and health coach. She is the owner of The Lean Body Formula, a life-changing 10-week weight loss program which helps women change their bodies from the inside out.

Nik’s program was created from experience. Throughout her life, she was very unhappy with her body and quickly became a ‘serial dieter’ which lead to her to a damaged metabolism, feeling bloated, fatigued, having digestive issues and putting on weight.

After years of constantly jumping from fad to fad and feeling low, Nik finally decided to embark on a wellness journey and study holistic nutrition and fitness.

Based on her own journey and experience with thousands of clients in groups and 1:1, she developed her signature Lean Body Formula, which since has helped transform thousands of women’s bodies and their relationship with food. She is passionate about sharing her experience and knowledge with every woman, and helping them create a body they feel confident in and can be proud of.

Follow Nik Toth, the Lean Body Coach on Instagram and Facebook.