Stress is something that all of us will encounter at points of our life, maybe a few minutes daily or an ongoing period of time either way it guaranteed to touch us all at some time and listening to your body and recognizing the signs of it being time to do something to make yourself feel relief and take care of yourself is vital to how you recover, grow and strengthen from these situations. There is only so much that any one person can take and sometimes something small like letting your brain wander to a better place for 5 minutes may be enough of a break before you go back to the grind, for others it will take longer and everyone is different. Here’s a few of the things that I do when I’m feeling stressed t reduced it in tough times but also things that I like to do as good practice in day to day life to manage and prevent any stress build up.
- Exercise- This post isn’t a ranked list but for me for the last 5 years now this has to be my number 1 essential. For prevention and cure if I do not exercise for longer than a couple of days I feel the it very very quickly. I get a build up of nervous energy, it feel my frustrations are pent up and irritable and exercise just releases those things for me instantly. It’s always a solution for me. When I am stressed and have things on my mind its great to reduce anxiety and helps get a good night sleep too. Sometimes in those stressy times its really hard to feel motivated to get up and do something but you have to let that little voice inside you speak up and whip that head into shape and make you move and it always helps, those days its down to the will power.
- Get outside- there’s something extremely cleansing about being in the great outdoors when you feel stressed, I’m not sure if anyone else feels this way but when you’re trapped within 4 small walls of your work and home problems can feel suffocating but when you get out into those wide open spaces I makes me feel so small in a really wonderful way and my problems even smaller in the grand scheme of the world. My favourite spots to visit are parks, woods, secluded coastline and old church and castle ruins, spoil me rotten with a splash of sunshine and i literally return home a new woman.
- Have a de-clutter- Clear out a cupboard, sort out the fridge, streamline your wardrobe, sort out the junk draw, get rid of that pile of papers, do a bag for charity and then once you have decluttered your surrounding enjoy how cathartic it has felt and basque in your new more breathable environment. That might sound daft but trust me, theres something great about getting rid of a load of pointless materials which serve no purpose and then feeling a weight lifted and metaphorically less suffocated because of it.
- Get lost in your favourite hobby- for me that is cooking, I find it so relaxing, I really get in the zone when I’m having a cook up and I really switch off and barely any other thoughts slip in. What’s your escape? Drawing? Sewing? Puzzles? Computer games?
- Have a cuddle- If you are someone lucky enough to have a dog to do this with you are envy RN but a cuddle with any loved one helps- studies show that the positive chemistry activated by a hug is hugely stress relieving and relaxing, a pet or partner would be ideal but if I’m by myself on one of these moments I settle for a mountain of pillows and a fluffy blanket for that ultimate comfort and it seems to do the trick.
- Give yourself the gift of time- you are your boss, are you stressed and in a situation with others and you are really affecting everyone and everything around you? Give yourself 10 minutes, no one is going to die (unless you’re a heart surgeon giving yourself this time mid surgery) and have a little pep talk with yourself, tell yourself why this situation won’t get the better of you, calm your breathing and take control and then get back on the horse. Positive mental attitude.
- Read a book- I love reading, if I get into a good book I can lose hours into the pages. Theres is something very different for the mind that you don’t gain from TV. It more engaging for the brain, that focus and concentration and the actual engagement in the book is much deeper than any TV show where you may switch off for a few seconds here and there and keep picking up your phone and pointlessly scrolling.
- Have a pamper- some call it self care, some call it narcissism, I just call it taking care of ME. Whatever that looks like to you take a few hours one night every week or 2 to do what makes you feel good, I like to have a full beauty MOT, paint the fingers and toes, face mask, lotions and potions on the neglected body parts, chick flick, you know the drill. I always feel great after, it might seem conceited by some but if it makes you feel good who says self care can’t be heavily based around candles and a bath.
- Phone a friend!- A problem shared is a problem halved! This cliche saying doesn’t exist for no reason its totally true! As you get older and gain more and more responsibility and you don’t see your friends as much as when you all know everything about each other it can sometimes feel hard to get your thoughts into words and share your worries. You may not want to be a burden or you worry about being judged but getting things off your chest helps so much and I’m sure you are on the receiving end plenty of the time. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed to share your feelings.
And lastly on the back of all this remember, it’s ok to no be ok!
I hope this post helps even if 1 person has a bit of a light bulb moment, stress can be so toxic so do what you need to do to feel good!
Thanks for reading, Hx