This week is Stress Awareness Week.
Stress is something that can affect us all. It’s how we react when we feel under pressure or threatened. It usually happens when we are in a situation that we don’t feel we can manage or control.
Sometimes, a small amount of stress can help us to complete tasks and feel more energised. But stress can become a problem when it lasts for a long time or is very intense. In some cases, stress can affect our physical and mental health.
Whilst stress is not normally considered a mental health problem, it is connected to our mental health in several ways, for example stress can cause poor mental health, and poor mental health can cause stress.
Stress is a common part of life, but it’s important to manage it effectively to maintain your mental and physical wellbeing. Here are some tips to help you deal with stress:
- Find Your Stressors: First, figure out what’s stressing you out. Knowing the causes of your stress can help you tackle them.
- Stay in the Moment: Try mindfulness exercises like meditation and deep breathing to stay focused on what’s happening right now. It can ease anxiety and help you relax.
- Get Moving: Regular physical activity, even a short walk, can help reduce stress. Exercise releases natural mood boosters called endorphins.
- Eat Well: A balanced diet with lots of fruits, veggies, and whole grains gives your body what it needs to handle stress. Try to avoid too much caffeine and sugar.
- Sleep Enough: Make sure you’re getting good sleep. A regular sleep schedule and a calming bedtime routine can help your body and mind recharge.
- Set Realistic Goals: Be realistic about what you can achieve. Don’t take on too much – it can make stress worse.
- Manage Your Time: Prioritise your tasks, make to-do lists, and break big tasks into smaller ones. It can help you feel more in control.
- Talk to Someone: Share your stress with friends, family, or a therapist. Talking about it can make you feel better and give you a fresh perspective.
- Limit Screen Time: Too much time on screens and social media can stress you out. Set limits on how much you use them.
- Relax: Try relaxation techniques like deep muscle relaxation, visualization, or yoga to calm your body and mind.
- Stay Organised: Keep your living and working spaces neat and tidy. Clutter can add to your stress.
- Enjoy Hobbies: Do things you like, whether it’s reading, painting, playing music, or any hobby. They can be a nice break from stress.
- Be Grateful: Take time to think about what you’re thankful for. It can shift your focus from stress to positive things in your life.
- Cut Down on Alcohol and Smoking: Too much of these can make stress and anxiety worse. Reducing or quitting can help your overall wellbeing.
- Learn to Say No: Don’t say yes to more than you can handle. It’s okay to turn down extra responsibilities if you’re already stressed.
- Get Professional Help: If stress is too much to handle or affects your mental health, think about seeing a mental health pro. They can give you tailored guidance and support.
Remember that it’s normal to experience stress, but how you manage it can make a significant difference in your overall health and quality of life. Find the strategies that work best for you, and don’t hesitate to seek support when needed.