This year’s international stress awareness day will be focused on emotional management in the wake of COVID-19 and the rise in mental health issues caused as a result. Now more than ever mental health is of the utmost importance and being aware of the effects stress can have on your mental health is vital to a happy, healthy life both in and out of the work environment.
Now, it is all well and good being aware of your stress, but how can we then move into the next phase of being able to manage this stress and more importantly de-stress. Some may argue that stress is unavoidable, and that may be the case. However, stress is not unmanageable. It cannot be the reason for the decline of your health – both mental and physical.
Stress can have a negative impact both mentally but also physically and being aware of this is a must if you are to upkeep your health.
We have compiled for you a list of ‘stress awareness day tips and tricks’ for how you can help yourself to de-stress and take back control of your life from that dirty ‘S’ word!
Ways to help your stress levels
- Deep breathing exercises: Everyone knows that anxiety is the friend that stress brings very much uninvited to the party. So when things get a bit too much, take some time to concentrate on your breathing. Do a 5 second inhale, followed by a 5 second hold and finally a 5 second exhale. Repeat this until you feel somewhat calmer!
- Regular exercise: I know it’s the dreaded ‘E’ word, but this doesn’t mean you have to complete a 10k marathon and swim the English channel to feel renewed like some crazy fitness pages will suggest. Even something as simple as walking to work, or going for a walk during your lunch hour, taking the stairs instead of the lift even. Just a little extra something can get the blood pumping, the mind working and your body feeling energized to KO that hump day fatigue.
- Reduced / monitored caffeine intake: Everyone loves a cuppa. They do. It is the fuel to your day, the only thing stopping your morning from being one continuous yawn. But excessive caffeine – especially having caffeine past 5pm can be a real detriment to your ability to sleep. Being tired can really negatively impact your emotional state, and any little hiccup can feel like the sky is falling, skyrocketing that stress meter. So try to reduce the amount of your daily caffeine intake, and even be self disciplined in stopping having caffeine after a certain time.
- Journalling: Allowing yourself the time to simply reflect on your day or your feelings and jot down a stream of consciousness can be so relieving. Now don’t get me wrong you don’t have to be giving Emily Bronte a run for her money! Just a few simple sentences will do the trick, or find some journaling prompts online and simply answer one or two a day and trust me your head will start feeling a lot clearer!
- Practise self love: Too often do we pair burnout or a lack of productivity with failure, and ‘failure’ is stressful. Remember to be kind to yourself, allow yourself a moment to breathe when the exhaustion sets in! Have a warm drink, read some of your favourite book, have your favourite food for lunch, go for a walk; anything that brings you joy. Indulge without guilt and it will reset your frame of mind I assure you.
- Clear up your workspace: It is such a simple trick, one that is probably at best avoided and at worst completely ignored. But, do not underestimate the power of a clean work environment! Not only will it clear your desk, but clear your mind and lead to a much more productive day.
- Create yourself some goals: The best way to push forward through the week is to know what you’re pushing towards. Spend some time on Wednesday planning what you want to achieve by the weeks end, just make the list realistic in size! That way you can monitor your time better and know what your aim actually is, skipping any time wasting tasks that are useless.
It is easy to get swept up in all things stressful and feel like you’re drowning. Sometimes a simple step back, deep breath and a moment to yourself can allow you that time to pause and reflect. This stress awareness day, we encourage you to invest the same amount of energy into de-stressing as you do stress inducing activities, the scales are sure to balance out!
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