The other day I was out in Surrey for a coffee, and overheard a conversation on the table next to me between two women with newborns and it went like this:

FRIEND 1: “Wouldn’t it be nice to have 5 minutes to yourself?”

FRIEND 2: “I’d love it, but I just don’t have the time. I’m constantly running around to do this and that, by the end of the day I’m so tired. So even when I do have the change for 5 minutes to myself, all I want to do is sleep”.

As a business owner, I get it.

Finding some “me time” can be tough, but one of the most important things I’ve had to figure out in order to feel good and have energy is how to manage stress.

Most people don’t realize their lives are ruled by it!

Stress levels are at an all time high and still climbing.

I even hear out patients who, on a weekly basis, tell me they lead a stressful job, go home to face even more stress and most of them don’t have a clue where to being it manage it.

Now as strange as it may sound, we do need some level of stress to go about our day.

It’s the extra boost that helps us meet deadlines and reach our goals.

It stops us from hitting snooze, pushing through the afternoon struggle and keeps us moving.

The problem is there’s a line, where it’s no longer energizing but all consuming… which is when stress becomes our enemy.

Let’s step back for a moment and look at the thing we’re often not told about…

(When you’re aware of stress and it’s managed) stress leaves our bodies stronger and healthier than they were prior to when we let stress take over.

Small, managed doses of stress are good, but too much and it becomes unhealthy – it can stall your weight loss and even bring on aches and pains.

So, how do you reel it in and make stress work on your terms, so you don’t feel it’s unwanted side effects?

I’ve put together a little list of things that have helped me, which you can put into action as soon as you’ve stopped reading this article…

My first piece of advice would be to talk about it and find a friendly ear who you know is happy to listen.

Talking with friends is a great stress reliever and get it out in the open.

Second is get moving!

I’ve said it many times, but exercise can improve your mood and make you feel a lot better (it doesn’t have to be strenuous)…

Anything from Yoga to a boot camp style class can go a long way to improving your stress levels, help you focus and doesn’t let you worry about anything else while you’re in the zone.

Make some time for you!

Outside of work and socializing, find something that let’s you come back feeling refreshed, whether it’s turning off your phone, reading a book in the bath or taking a walk.

I make sure to have at least one whole day away from my phone and technology so I can un-wind and enjoy some quality time with my family, it always does the trick.

If none of those sound like your idea of “me time” how about treating yourself to a massage?

Massages work great and you’ll know you have a commitment to make once it’s booked in your diary, making you more likely to stick to it.

AND, who doesn’t like a nice, relaxing massage to soothe your stress away?!

I book one regularly here, and it’s something I often look forward to at the end of the week.

To sum up, it’s time to manage your stress, rather than just deal with it.

These tips and techniques might take a few weeks/months to be incorporated into your lifestyle, but it will improve your health, happiness and productivity for the rest.