April is stress awareness month. Since 1992 it has been held in April to help increase the public’s awareness of the causes and, hopefully, better ways to manage stress.
Millions (yes I said millions) of us around the UK are experiencing extremely high levels of stress and this is damaging our health. Even though stress is one of the great public health challenges of our time, it still isn’t being taken as seriously as physical health conditions – ladies we know how that feels…
Stress is a significant factor in all aspects of health; including mental health issues such as anxiety and depression, physical health conditions like heart disease, weakened immune system, insomnia (and don’t I know it) and digestive problems.
I am hoping that together, we can work out what is causing us our personal stress and learn what steps to take to reduce this.
2020 and the start of 2021 have been exceptionally more stressful than most of us have experienced in our lifetimes. Let’s work through this difficult time together and we will soon be free and (hopefully) back to normal.
Everyone, at some point in their life will experience some form of stress and I am here to share my story. I hope my story will help others suffering from stress.
My Story with Stress
For much of my growing up, throughout school, uni, friendships, relationships and work I have experienced varying amounts of stress.
Everyone has an individual experience with stress and how it affects their lives.
For me, it would cause me to lose sleep, have drastic mood swings, over eat, and in some cases just give up entirely. On a few occasions, life’s stresses even caused my period to be late – adding to the stress.
I have found that by knowing what triggers me, is a good way of catching and preventing stress before it sneaks up on me.
I wish I had learnt how to sort my stress out sooner. During education instead of dealing with my stress when completing assignments I would put off the work until the pressure of deadline day was looming and I had no choice but to do it.
This meant that not only did I have the build up stress of months of worrying about the work, I then doubled, no, tripled, that stress by leaving it all to the last minute.
Stress Awareness Month – Let’s manage stress this April
This year, the Stress Management Society is setting a 30 day challenge based around their theme of “regaining connectivity, certainty and control”.
They have been doing some call things with mobile brand Huawei to conduct studies into stress – this research identified that 65% of people in the UK have felt more stressed since the COVID-19 restrictions last March 2020.
They discovered that the three main causes of concern were “feelings of disconnection, uncertainty, and a worrying loss of control.”
Which I think most of us can agree with after the year we have had.
The Stress Management Society, have decided to include these concerns into this year’s theme for Stress Awareness Month 2021.
The 30 Day Challenge
For their 30 day challenge this year, they want to encourage you all to pick on action each for your Physical, Mental and Emotional Wellbeing to carry out everyday. (Did you know – it takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, so this is the perfect amount of time to affect some serious change).
They hope that this 30 day challenge will “maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change.”
How I manage stress
We all know how challenging stresses are and how negatively they can affect our day to day lives.
Here are a couple of little tips and tricks that I have implemented when things start to feel a bit too much.
Here’s how I manage stress:
Adopt a positive mindset
It’s really important to let yourself feel sad or angry about something, as you need to experience your feelings. However you can adopt a positive mindset to make life feel a little bit more rosey!
Starting a gratitude journal is a great way to adopt a positive mindset, just write down everything you’re grateful for. It totally changes your perception, as even if you feel you’ve had a bad day, your journal will still be bursting with things you’re grateful for.
Don’t be a slave to tech
I take some time off scrolling social media and always remember that most things on social media are just highlights.
It really healthy to have a break from scrolling as looking at other people’s highlights can make you feel stressed that you aren’t achieving the same.
Eat for wellbeing
I keep an eye on what I am eating, when I am stressed I am more likely to make poor nutrition choices – My body is a temple.
Get a good night’s sleep
We all know how crucial getting a good night’s sleep is to EVERYTHING. We have a blog on effective night time routines that we swear by.
It’s probably the last thing I want to do when I feel stressed, but even a 10 minute walk around the block does me a world of good.
Learn to say no
Sometimes I am guilty of taking on too much and not prioritising me. I must remember, it’s ok to say NO!
Master your time – I should defo have utilised my time better in school and uni!
Practice deep breathing
Breathing is essential to our lives. Read our blog “Breathing Exercises for Anxiety” to try some great exercises.
Prioritise your health
Repeat after me “I am a priority!” I try to check in with myself and hold myself accountable if I am not prioritising me. Self care isn’t selfish, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
We need water to survive! Keep hydrated! If you dehydrated your cortisol levels (the stress hormones) are more likely to be high.
With things starting to change in the country – with relaxed restrictions etc. new stresses about health and safety may be at the forefront of many of our minds.
I really hope this helps.
And don’t forget, you’ve survived 100% of your worse days.
Our Remedy x x