Everyone faces stress from time to time, but whilst a bit of stress is normal and can help us to achieve great things, too much stress can have an adverse effect on your health and wellbeing.
Stress is a major problem today – according to the Mental health Foundation, 74% of UK adults have felt so stressed at some point over the last year they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. And stress and mental health problems have never been more important than now, in the wake of Covid-19.
This is International Stress Awareness Week 2020, when a spotlight shines on stress.
Taking steps to reduce and cope with stress is crucial, and looking after yourself is key. Make sure you take time out to relax when you need to, and learn to let others know when things get too much for you.
Ways to deal with stress include:
1. Stress management begins at home
It’s so important to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Know the amount that’s best for you, because we’re all different. It’s a good idea to avoid screens with blue light, such as phones and laptops, just before bed, too.
2. Understand when you’re approaching your tipping point
This will help to keep you well, so being able to recognise when stress is building up to a critical level is key – then you can use coping mechanisms. All too often, we pay attention to others when we need to pay attention to ourselves.
3. Take mini breaks at work
Constantly sitting down isn’t good for physical or mental health. So – get up, walk around and have a stretch every half hour or so to keep the blood moving! Even if you exercise regularly, prolonged sitting is not good for the heart.
4. Try mindfulness
Take 5 minutes to close your eyes and breathe deeply – it increases the oxygen in the blood, clearing your mind.
5. Avoid caffeine
We all know that caffeine is a stimulant and can be addictive, but did you know that excessive consumption is also linked to many chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure and headaches?
6. Get active!
Exercise will boost your mood, clear your head, and help you feel more positive. If you’re not a runner, try walking, cycling, YouTube workouts – anything that gets you moving!