Bust Stress this National Stress Awareness Month with these handy tips
When was the last time that you took out for you? Seriously, when did you say I’m taking this hour for me?
The modern day life is filled with e-mails, phone calls, notifications, family life and of course our wonderful bosses that encourage and help us to deliver results.
With so much going on it is easy for any one of us to slip into a habit of getting stressed.
Believe it or not stress, anxiety and/or depression accounted for 40% of all work related illnesses in 2016/2017.
April is National Stress Awareness month and to help you combat the symptoms of stress we’ve got some handy tips.
This is something we can all do, and its really easy, but don’t worry if it doesn’t work first time.
Grab yourself a glass of water and take a sip. Now focus all your energy on that water in your mouth.
What does it taste like? How does it feel? How is it making you feel?
Spending time focusing our energy on one particular task such as drinking a glass of water reminds us all that we’re human and doing the best we can.
Mindfulness works because it gets our brain to focus on the here and now, and not worry about what’s to come or the mistakes we may have made in the past.
There are dozens of support articles about Mindfulness on the Get Self Help website.
Believe it or not, the no pain no gain mantra really does stack up and it certainly has its benefits.
Of course the most important thing to do is to build up slowly, start off small try a 30 minute walk, somewhere quiet like around Cockington Court or Occombe Farm, maybe even leave the iPhone or iPod at home.
If you prefer, take yourself off for a swim at either the Riviera International Conference Centre or at the Torbay Leisure Centre at swim away the day.
Switch off and listen to your own footsteps or the sounds of the birds tweeting, and no that doesn’t include Twitter.
Take time out for you
You know the saying all work and no play makes XX a very dull person.
It might sound silly, but taking some time out for you to watch your favourite TV program, read that book, build that model kit, complete that jig saw or simply having a relaxing bath.
But in doing any one of these you are taking sometime out for you, you’re rewarding yourself, mentally, for the work that you have done that week.
By rewarding yourself, you will be able to work better, smarter and produce higher quality work than if you work persistently around the clock.
Constantly working 9-9 every day is a recipe for burn out and ill health.
Talk to someone you trust
Talking helps, no matter how far you are along that stress spectrum, talking about what is stressing you out really does help.
Let’s be honest we all face trivial problems, children losing their PE kits, the dog torn up the sofa, or you’ve just broken a nail. Should it really make us mad? No.
When we’re stressed every small problem, seems like a catastrophic disaster. So arrange a coffee with your best friend and re-gain some clarity and get a grip on some of the daily trial and tribulations that face us all on a daily basis.
If you find you don’t have anyone you majorly trust, then start a diary, write them down either via an online journal or in a diary.
Getting it out of your head and onto paper can put a lot of our stresses into perspective.
Sounds silly doesn’t it?
Believe it or not this is one that you can do at your office chair, in the bathroom or whilst your stuck in that traffic jam.
First, you’re going to have to simply stop, put your hand on your chest take one deep breath in and breath out. Feel the air filling both your lungs and going down into your stomach.
Do this 3 times, to remind to yourself that you’re human, alive and breathing – not a machine.
There are some great support articles on breath work at Get Self Help.
Avoid Alcohol and Fatty Foods
You’ve left the office in a right stress, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing, the boss has been demanding and to top it off you’re stuck in rush hour traffic, and when you get home you’ve then got to cook the tea.
We often look for an easy and quick option particularly if we’ve had a stressful day. It’s a lot easier to call into our favourite takeaway than it is for us to make up a chicken salad.
Turning to fatty foods as a form of comfort and use alcohol to unwind at the end of the evening, isn’t going to help our mood at all, least not in the long run.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with a glass or 2 of wine at the end of the day. Turning to alcohol when we’re stressed can lead to a dependence, add to that the burger and chips you’ve gobbled down you’re asking for trouble.
Alcohol can mask the real issue, and not help us deal with the problems that we’re facing. It can also heighten our stress levels as well, in severe cases, lead to depressed and anxiety.
If you do find that you’re are struggling with everyday life, don’t suffer in silence talk to your GP/doctor. There are many services within the NHS that can help.