• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

Learn to accept the things you cannot change

To be an adult is to be stressed. The current socio-economic and political atmosphere in South Africa is enough to drive you over the edge. But that is something we cannot afford. So how does one cope and pursue peace and appreciation of life?

The Heart Foundation argues that “stress is a normal physiological response to ‘dangerous’ situations and therefore often beneficial. In fact, most people need a little bit of stress to keep their lives interesting”.

It manifests in different ways for each of us, from constant headaches, feelings of anger, anxiety, depression, irritability and impatience. Stress is unhealthy when it is excessive, chronic and managed poorly.

Managing stress is key. If not managed effectively it can cause heart disease. The Foundation advises that people exercise more, eat regular meals, cut down or quit smoking and drinking.

A good diet provides certain nutrients such as vitamin B which are essential to a healthy central nervous system as well as vitamin C and zinc which are essential to the immune system. Learn to say ‘no’. Practise saying ‘no’ when you are feeling over-burdened. Get organised. Use ‘to do’ lists to help you prioritise and focus on the most important tasks.

Do something you enjoy. Set aside some time for relaxation. Get active. Physical activity is an excellent stress-reliever because it provides a distraction, the release of mood-enhancing endorphins and provides an outlet for frustration. It also increases long-term resilience to stress.

Get enough sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night. Brush up on sleep hygiene if sleeping is a struggle. Cut the bad habits. Learn to accept the things that you cannot change. Focus your energy instead on the things that you have control over.

Information sourced from the Heart Foundation


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