This April marks the 29th anniversary of Stress Awareness Month, a campaign designed to increase the awareness around stress as well as bringing the common causes and cures to the forefront.
We are here to provide you with some tips on how you can look out for your own wellbeing whether that be at home or in the work place.
1 – Exercise
Getting 30 minutes of exercise each day is scientifically proven to release endorphins, the hormones which make you happy. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to sweat in the gym for hours on end to feel euphoric. Going for a scenic bike ride, a slow stroll along the waterfront or a leisurely swim are all great ways to reset the mind, relieve anxiety and help you regain control over your emotions.
2 – Controlled Breathing
Stress can activate the sympathetic nervous system which sends the body into ‘fight or flight’ mode, triggering heavy breathing, sweats and an overwhelming feeling of worry. Deep breathing stimulates the parasympathetic system, which counteracts this sensation and encourages relaxation. Also known as a grounding technique, exercising control over your breathing will allow you to lower your own heart rate and regain control.
3 – Take a Break
Physically removing yourself from stressful situations is a great way to reset the mind. Going for a walk during your lunch break, heading to the beach to watch the sunset or strolling through the woods are all great ways to reconnect with nature and feel at one with yourself. You will feel more ready and determined to take on the task that was previously weighing you down.
4 – Reach Out
Seeking help can be one of the hardest steps in dealing with stress. We encourage you to reach out to a friend, family member or a professional. Sending that first text or making the daunting phone call can be a vital step in addressing your anxiety.
5 – Eating Habits
Stress and anxiety can cause the body to crave naughty comforts. Although this can make you feel momentarily better, in the long run, junk foods often contain saturates and trans fats which put more strain on the brain and can contribute towards mental distress. Caffeine is also notorious for raising heart rate when consumed too often, which can stimulate feelings of anxiety. Incorporating more water and healthy foods into your diet can help to regulate your mindset and make you feel more refreshed.
6 – Do More of What You Love
When we’re snowed under with work, children and other commitments, it’s easy to forget to take time out for yourself. But making time to partake in hobbies you enjoy is an integral part of lowering your stress and immersing yourself in escapism. Whether you love painting, playing cards or baking, try and squeeze half an hour of something you enjoy into your day.
7 – Break Down Your Work Load
Creating a to do list and dismantling your work load into smaller tasks is a great way to make it less daunting. Tackling situations one at a time and crossing it off as you go will help you to feel a sense of achievement, thus boosting your enthusiasm to plough through the rest and complete your day on a high.
8 – Sleep
Ensuring you get enough sleep is imperative. ‘Switching off’ can be really difficult but we have some tips that may help. Try to stop interacting with your phone or other electronics before going to sleep. Maybe pick up a book, read your favourite magazine, have a chat with your partner or write about your day in a journal. Oftentimes, the blue tint of a phone or TV screen makes it hard for our brain to enter a state of relaxation, which inevitably keeps you awake. Avoid sugary foods before sleep and try not to drink too much either as you may wake up needing the toilet.
These tips are designed to help you feel like you’re regaining control over your own emotions. When stress and anxiety begins to spiral, it can almost feel impossible to keep up. Implementing these techniques in your day to day life will give you the ability to manage your time more efficiently and encourage you to stop and think about your own wellbeing more frequently.
If you are suffering from stress at work, a difficult house move or a relationship breakdown and feel like you may benefit from legal advice, our experienced solicitors in Tiverton and Newton Abbot are here to talk.