With today being National Stress Awareness Day, as well as Winter creeping upon us – which is an instant mood changer in itself, I thought I’d share a few of the ways I look after my mental health and day to day living to reduce stress.
Stress is defined as being the way a person’s body responds to the demands of a situation, be it a real situation, or that of one the person’s brain imagines.
It’s important to remember that each person’s perception of stress is different. It is a feeling that everyone has and does experience at some point. However, If it’s something you or someone you know is struggling with frequently, then I urge you to seek help/talking to someone about it.
Personally, in scenarios that are causing or potentially could lead to a feeling of stress, I have a number of things that I can do to help/limit its impact and reduce stress, maybe you do some these yourself, or could add some forme to try.
- Quiet Beginnings. Tough with children, I know that for sure. But waking up to an alarm, having the opportunity to make a brew and even sit down in quiet for 5/10/15/30 minutes if possible, does all the wonders for mentally preparing for the day ahead.
- Stepping out of a situation or choosing not to enter one. Pretty self-explanatory, but if you find yourself entering or in a situation that you know or evidently leads to you feeling stressed or anxious, if possible, step out of it. You and your mental health are priority. It’s OK to say no.
- Digital Switch Off. Technology/social media use especially can be so damaging, not just to your eyes, I know I’m prone to headaches at times, but also in regards to comparison and imposter syndrome. Meaningless scrolling. Lost time that could be used for a more positive activity.
- Talk to a friend or close family member. Letting people in and opening up is never an easy thing. Especially if you’re someone who feels like they always need to have their shit together. But if something is bothering you, speaking about it out loud can sometimes give a new perspective. A problem shared, as they say.
- Exercise. Science says that when you exercise, endorphins are released into your body, causing positive feelings. Regular moderate exercise can also have a positive impact on managing your weight.
- Meditate, Practise breathing exercises. May be seen as ‘woo’ like, but taking the time to concentrate on your breathing can make all the difference to dealing with or limiting the impact of certain situations that cause anxiety or distress. Meditation is a great addition to a morning and or evening routine. Phone apps such as Headspace offer free basic sessions, with the option to buy further if you desire.
- Make Time For A Hobby. Having a hobby allows for so many benefits. A distraction to the mind, a way of taking back control. Making concentration on a different topic. It can also be seen as a release. Going to the gym, thrashing it out on a boxing bag.
- Learn. Or Re-Learn. Not something for everyone, but I personally feel I’ve benefited a lot through an awareness of triggers to anxious feelings, as well as knowing what to do in those moments. As well as learning more about mental health and the symptoms of such disorders has given me the knowledge and acceptance that I’m normal and that actually more people have issues than I first thought.
I hope that this post has been helpful. If anyone feels something may be missing, or specifically works for them, please add your thoughts below in the comments. It’s always great to share.
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