women
Finding a balanced lifestyle is essential to our overall wellbeing. Physical activities such as aerobics or tennis can concentrate the mind and help to reduce the outward symptoms of stress, while hobbies such as painting can provide emotional calm.

Taking up new hobbies

Choose an activity that you really enjoy doing to beat stress. The right pastime can be so absorbing that it helps you to switch off from everything else; so engrossing that it becomes as refreshing as sleep. A hobby also helps boost self-esteem. After a day at the office when nothing seemed to go right, you can head for your hobby and lose yourself in your skill. Some people’s hobbies have even become their livelihoods. Accountants have become keen beekeepers; lawyers have turned to furniture restoration. Hobbies can be portable – many people are able to combine their hobbies with holidays, such as a cycling trip in the US, for example, golfing in Portugal, or perhaps a guided tour of the flora and fauna of Central America.

Relaxing with a new hobby

Remember that a hobby is meant to be a pleasure, not a chore – go out and paint only when you feel like it. If you cannot find the time to finish that art course, do not worry. Do the best you can, and squeeze enjoyment out of it.

Taking more exercise

Exercise is widely recognized as beneficial in reducing anxiety and improving sleep. However, take care, since those who exercise vigorously while highly stressed are prone to injury. Remember to start gradually and build up to a regular exercise regime. When planning your sporting activities, build in the time that it takes to travel, change, and shower. Some sports, such as tennis and golf, combine physical exercise with social activity – which is in itself a stress minimizer. Brisk walking, swimming, and aerobics classes are all effective in improving the cardiovascular system. The charthere shows the effects of different sports on stamina, flexibility, and strength. Use it to choose one or more sports activities that would suit you.

TIP

Join an evening class every year, and start to learn something new.

TIP

Ask your company to take corporate membership of a nearby sports club.

TIP

Take a holiday that allows you to pursue a hobby.

TIP

When taking up a new form of exercise, start with some lessons from a qualified instructor.

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