International Stress Awareness Week
This is International Stress Awareness Week. I invite you to think about the role that stress plays in your life. If you feel that you experience stress regularly, then it's time to do something about it.
- If stress is starting to show up more than is healthy or helpful, then it's time to spend some time researching, experimenting and discovering ways that can help reduce your stress...
- At the time of writing, the physical and mental health impact of the
coronavirus outbreak is still very much present in our daily lives.
Here are a few suggestions on how to reduce unwanted
stress during these challenging times...
- Get moving: Physical exercise can help relieve
tension and relax your mind. Make sure you do some physical activity every
day. Walk, even if you don't have a dog! Do some yoga, or get to a class if you can, online if not. Even raking leaves in the garden! Movement is medicine and will benefit your mind as well as your body.
- Get outdoors whenever possible, breathe deeply, look at the trees changing colour as we move through Autumn, appreciate your natural surroundings. This can really shift your emotional state.
- Stay connected: We all enjoy the feeling of being connected with our loved ones. If possible, catching up with a friend or family member at a safe distance and discussing your feelings can ease your mind. If meeting in person is not possible, you can stay in touch by phone, video calls.
- Be kind to others: Supporting and helping others allows us to gain some perspective and better equip us to handle stressful situations. Carrying out acts of kindness boosts endorphins, resulting in you receiving a ‘helpers high’ - the uplifting feeling you feel after helping someone.
- Self-care: When we feel stressed, the things that bring us happiness often get side-lined. Make sure that you schedule some time the things that you know bring you contentment, for instance, reading a good book, having a long soak in the bath, a countryside walk, baking, cooking a roast dinner for your family. As a result, you have something to look forward to and help you shift to a more positive mindset. Taking care of ourselves feels amazing!
- Relax your mind: Mindfulness practices and breathing techniques can help you stop worrying about the future and allow you to focus on the present. There are a variety of well-being apps, online videos and tutorials that can help you deal with difficult emotions and relax your mind. A regular meditation practice is so valuable. Try one of my recordings here: https://omyoganorthwales.co.uk...
- Notice if your stress starts to shift into feelings of anxiety. I have noticed when I have been through stressful periods of my life, that if I don't STOP, act and do something (eg any of the above!) the feelings of stress start to morph into anxiety - fluttering in my belly, not sleeping, panicking about things that I would normally take in my stride. This is your body trying to get your attention! This is the time to ASK FOR HELP... from people close to you, from a professional experienced in coaching on what to do next... Whatever you do, something has to change. You are in the driving seat, you can decide what small thing can I change today that will make a difference - ask your heart. It knows.