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It's Mental Health Awareness week, a great time to open up about mental health issues and understanding how we can all protect and sustain our mental health.
Most of us know that our physical, mental and emotional health are all affected when stress levels rise and let’s face it, most of us have felt stress at one point or another – if not daily!
Feeling stressed can suck the joy out of our lives pretty quickly and every area of your life can suffer.
Common symptoms of stress can vary from person to person but the most common feelings include being tense, not being able to sleep properly due to your racing mind, headaches and tension in the neck and shoulders.
During Mental Health Awareness week, take a moment to evaluate your own stress levels and consider the best ways to relax, rewind and de-stress.
1# Manage Your Time Effectively
Prioritise important tasks – if it’s not urgent don’t feel the stress creep over you to get the task done immediately. Make a to-do-list! and stick to it. Don’t beat yourself up if you only scratch off one task from your list, just keep plodding on and you will get there without feeling quite as frazzled.
2# Hobbies To Chill You Out
Make time for things that you enjoy and indulge in things that recharge your batteries. Have a long warm bath, plant something in your garden, get a massage or watch a funny movie to relax you. Alternatively investing in some coloured pens or pencils and an adult colouring book may be the perfect way to clear yours to the mind of worries. Colouring has been shown to rid the mind of stressful thoughts and focus the mind (much like yoga or meditation!).
3# Burn Away The Stress
Get moving! Any form of physical activity can relieve stress and tension by releasing mood-boosting endorphins and distracting you from your worries. Simply go out for a brisk walk, hit the gym or put on your favourite song for a wacky burst of boogieing and feel instantly better.
4# Keep a Stress Diary
Keep a Stress Diary to help you understand the regular triggers of stress in your life. What’s putting on the pressure? Keeping track every day will help you to identify the root cause and you can start to recognise patterns in the way that you feel so that you can learn to protect yourself, change or avoid situations. Think about what caused your stress and how it made you feel or react. Write down everything in your journal including what you did to make yourself feel better.
5# Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol and Nicotine and Most Importantly any Unnecessary Stress!
Know your limits and stick to them and try not to take on more than you can handle at work or at home. Sometimes it’s as simple as recognising what’s stressing you out in life and removing that stress. If it’s a person try to avoid them or if you realise the News app on your phone makes you tense delete it. Once you start to eliminate the stress factors in your life you should start to feel much more relaxed.
If you are feeling particularly stressed out know the signs and avoid stimulants such as caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes until you are feeling better.