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This month is National Stress Awareness Month and I have seen so many posts about stress shared across social media. There have only been a couple of times in my life where stress has really got the better of me and I remember vividly the impact that work related stress had on me until I gave up my day job.
Now, the stresses in my life are smaller and they are things that I am sure many families experience. Money stresses, dealing with all the life admin and making sure you are in the right place at the right time for school, work, friends, family and everything else. But, all those little stresses can add up and before long you can feel like you have the whole world on your shoulders.
So how do I make sure that I ease any stress I may be feeling, not let it build up and work through it before it gets too much? Here are a few tips on how to deal with the stress in your life.
Write lists – I find that writing things down helps to clear my head and mke life that much easier. I write shopping lists, to do lists, packing lists. I have lists and notes for absolutely everything and I know that just writing something down relieves a bit of the stress and tension associated with it.
Exercise – If I have a lot going on in my head or in my life I find going for a walk or a run or even just going to the gym and keeping my body active really helps. When your body is active your mind can work through any issues and give you time to think without having to focus on any of the to-do lists sitting on the side at home.
Make time – I would never have time to exercise if I didn’t make time. I have now made it part of my routine straight after the school run so that when I get home I can sit down and start work. Or, I can then work through all the house jobs that need doing. But, if I didn’t exercise first thing I wouldn’t ever get the time to do it. So make sure you create a time when you can exercise and clear your head.
Get outside – Being outside in the fresh air always makes me feel better. That could be exercising or even just walking to school to pick the children up. Sometimes we go for a walk after school or a bike ride together at weekends. It doesn’t have to be a big adventure, just something to stretch our legs and blow those cobwebs away.
Read – Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. For me, when I’m reading I forget everything else. I am completely immersed in the world within the book and so all my stress disappears whilst I’m reading. This may not get rid of the stress but it definitely eases it or even just pauses it for a while.
Listen to music – I find that music is another way of completely clearing my head but allowing me to still be active – unlike when I’m reading. I can do housework, putting washing on, wash up or empty the dishwasher with some of my favourite music on in the background and it gives a little respite from the stress in my head or life.
Have a bath – Having a bath is a great way of detaching yourself from everything else that you need to do – as you really can’t do much in the bath. It’s forces you to relax and gives you time to read or listen to music. I always feel better after a bath.
Sleep – I find that when I’m stressed I stay up late trying to get everything done. This is so counterproductive as it means I am more tired and even more stressed the next day. Instead it’s best to wind down before bed, have a bath, read a book and empty your head. You’ll then get better quality sleep and more of it too.
Talk – When someone asks if you’re ok don’t just say yes. If you’re not, take a moment to talk about it. Reach out to a friend or someone close to you and talk about how you’re feeling, what you’re dealing with and you will feel better for it. A problem shared really is a problem halved and this goes for stress too. If you don’t have anyone to talk to or want to talk to someone impartial, seek help from somewhere like BetterHelp who always have therapists on hand to speak to.
Rebalance – I find that taking something like Zenflore really helps me to rebalance and focus when I’m feeling stressed. It’s a new completely natural probiotic which reduces the level of the stress hormone, cortisol. It’s been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of everyday stress like tiredness, low energy, tension headaches and a weakened immune system. It’s turned into a staple whenever stress gets too much.
Seek help – If you’re really feeling the strain of stress and have tried everything above, then there is no shame in going and talking to your doctor or getting counselling to relieve some of the burden.
Stress affects us all in different ways and to different levels and over the years I have learnt to deal with all the little stresses before they manifest into something bigger. But, at times, you can be dealing with bigger stresses that need more help to be resolved and they’ll take longer to disperse too.
I think the more we talk about how we’re feeling, our mental health and the day to day stress that we are all under the more natural these conversations will become. And, through talking about it the stress may ease slightly too.
How do you deal with the stress in your life? Is there anything that you do to make yourself feel better, somewhere you go or someone you speak to? I’d love to know how you manage the stress in your life.