tips for coping with stress
“Every time you are tempted to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future”. Deepak Chopra
How do you feel about the prospect of lockdown #2?
Now that we are armed with the benefit of hindsight with the first lockdown behind us, it’s natural to anticipate varying degrees of stress as we approach the second lockdown. These stress factors can manifest itself negatively in a number of forms, including physical, emotional, life events or environmental sources. Even a positive change, like working from home again, can be a source of stress.
Managing our stress levels are important to ensure these pressures do not become constant and damage our health and well-being.
Our 12 top tips for coping with stress:
- Focus on what you can control. Use your energy to nurture what matters to you most. For many of us, our priorities and life experiences have changed so much this year and it’s ok. Learn to let go of what doesn’t serve you.
- Think positive. Our thoughts are vital to our well-being. Challenge them every time and reframe your thoughts with a positive spin. Over time this becomes a habit and thoughts about you, others, the world and the future will be seen through a positive lens. A handy tool to help with this is to write down three things you are grateful for, each day.
- Check on others. Keep in touch online with friends and family, if you live with others, turn off your phone when chatting with them.
- Volunteer. In-person or virtually, share your skills, offer local support and get involved where you can.
- Set a goal. This is a personal goal, something that you’ve been putting off for while or learning a new skill. Celebrate success along the way, every step takes you on a journey of personal growth. Remember, tomorrow is another day, so go easy on yourself.
- Ask for help. It’s not a sign of weakness to open up or seek support. Talk to a friend or family member or if it’s easier, ring up or text a helpline for someone to listen without judgement.
- Take moments for yourself. Removing yourself from a stressful situation gives you a physical break and helps to see things from a different perspective. Self-care is important because you cannot pour from an empty cup. Look after yourself.
- Exercise. Get the heart pumping and enjoy nature and fresh air.
- Just breathe! Breathing is magical, so often we forget to harness the power of deep breathing. It focuses the mind and alleviates anxious thoughts and feelings.
- Sleep well. Establish an evening routine and leave devices outside the bedroom.
- Meditate. Really focus on being just in the moment and taking in what is around you. Mindfulness also extends to listening to music or a podcast as long as you give it your full attention (and dance like no one’s watching!).
- Happy healthy eating. It’s Winter, so go wild with comfort food like easy slow-cooker recipes, hearty stews, pies and soups. Read our blog about good mood foods for more inspiration.