Try these simple steps to reduce stress!
April is Stress Awareness Month and, let’s face it, we could all do with taking some serious time-out. It’s been a crazy couple of years and 2022 isn’t really shaping up to be much better… 🙈
Let’s stop the stigma around stress – there’s absolutely no shame in feeling frazzled and overwhelmed. We’re all juggling a LOT right now, which is why there’s never been a more important time to prioritise our mental health and wellbeing. If you’re feeling this way, and don’t know how to break the stress cycle, we’re here to help with these five simple steps.
Take time out. Stop what you’re doing and give yourself time and space to relax. Try meditation, play relaxing music, take yourself for a walk in the fresh air. Focus on your breathing – take long, deep breaths and feel yourself relax with every inhale/exhale.
Grounding techniques can be extremely helpful for moments when you feel like things are spiralling out of control. At times of extreme anxiety or stress, you can use these techniques to engage your senses and distract you from overwhelming thoughts and feelings. This helps to ‘ground’ you in the here and now and take back control of your feelings. These are just a few simple yet effective techniques you can try:
- Close your eyes and focus on the birds tweeting outside
- Look around the room and find five things beginning with ‘s’
- Read a book aloud – the sound of your own voice can be soothing
Discover more grounding techniques here.
Stress can strike at any time and that’s why it’s important to make time to relax every day. We all have very busy lives, and it can be difficult to carve out some ‘me-time’ but make sure to give yourself some much-needed downtime at least once a day. Take 15 minutes to fit in a quick walk or workout, watch a couple of episodes of your favourite show or pick up a book and lose yourself in another world. For more stress-busting ideas, click here.
3. LET GO OF ‘SHOULDS’
All too often, we start to feel guilty about the things we ‘should’ be doing, which makes us feel even more stressed out. Let’s hit reset on this: there is nothing wrong with just being. We don’t always have to be rushing about getting stuff done. Sometimes, we need to just be – to go with the flow and find joy in the simplest of activities. Push your ‘shoulds’ aside and focus on the here and now. A wellness journal can help you master mindfulness – discover our pick of the best mindfulness journals here.
Coping with stress is, well, stressful at the best of times but it always feels a million times worse when you’re tired. Sleep is key to good mental and physical health, but most of us don’t get anywhere near enough the recommended 8-10 hours. Make your sleep a priority – introduce a regular bedtime and reduce your screen time in the evenings to help you drift off more easily. Make your bedroom a clean and comfortable haven with comfy covers and low light. To get more advice on how to get a good night’s sleep, click here.
5. SEEK SUPPORT
Reach out to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Seeking support for your mental health isn’t a sign of weakness – it’s a sign of bravery. Every single one of us needs a shoulder to lean on from time to time and it’s important to ask for help when you need it. You don’t have to suffer alone. If you find it difficult to talk about mental health or don’t know how to ask for help, you can find great advice here.