April is the start of stress awareness month which has been running in April since 1992. Despite running for coming up to 30 years – there is a long way to go still!
This year, more than ever, we need to sit back and take time for ourselves. Stress does not just have an impact on our mental wellbeing, it can have a major effect on our physical health as well including
heart disease, problems with our immune system, insomnia, and digestive problems.
Stress is such a personal experience; Individually we need to understand what is causing us personal stress and learn what steps we can take to reduce it for ourselves and those around us.
If you or someone you know is feeling stressed, doing some form of activity will help manage and make them/yourself feel better. Endorphines released whilst exercising are proven to reduce low mood. It gives you something else to focus your attention on.
Take a step back and think about why you are stressed. Maybe write it down, talk to someone, or just simply think about what you can do to alleviate the stress. Most problems have a solution – you just need to find it 🙂
Take some time for yourself. Go for a walk, have a bath, read a book. However, you like to relax, do it!
Here in the UK, we work the longest hours in Europe, meaning we often don’t spend enough time doing things we really enjoy.
“We all need to take some time for socialising, relaxation or exercise,” says Professor Cooper.
He recommends setting aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time” away from work.
“By earmarking those 2 days, it means you won’t be tempted to work overtime,” he says. (taken from the NHS website)
Avoid unhealthy habits
Smoking, drinking, takeaways; These all help us feel great in the moment but more often than not they become coping mechanisms for stressful situations and they become more like a plaster rather than a cure!
Create healthy habits
Stress.org are challenging you to a 30-day challenge; encouraging you to pick one action each for your Physical, Mental, and Emotional Well-being to carry out every day. It takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, which is why this is a month-long program. The 30-day challenge will maximize your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioral change. Find your printout for the month here and loads of ideas for the month here.