Stress can be something that all of us face in our lives and it shows itself in different ways for us all. There are so many triggers whilst we are in the middle of a global pandemic. Sometimes we find it hard to immediately recognise when stress is causing us a problem because it isn’t always obvious and hides itself! We forget that there is probably a connection between physical warnings, such as tense muscles, over tiredness and headaches and the pressures we are facing right now. When stress starts to impact both our emotional and physical health then it is time to pay attention.
Stress can be defined as the degree to which you feel overwhelmed or unable to cope as a result of pressures that are unmanageable. Mental Health Foundation
In the world of Covid-19 that we are currently living in, it feels as though stress can be difficult to walk away from, especially as we are living in such uncertain times. There are however some practical steps we can take to help ease the burden and take more control.
To start to deal with stress we first need to review our lifestyle. Ask yourself some tough questions about whether you could be taking on too much. Can you do things at a different pace? Do you need to prioritise life in a different way?
Once you realise that stress is impacting your life you must try to identify the root causes. You might sort the possible reasons into three categories. – Those that have a practical solution – Those that will get better given time – Those you simply cannot do anything about! For those you identify are in the second and third groups – just pause for a second, breath and try and let them go for now.
William James, one of our most influential philosophers, once said ‘The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another’. I believe this to be so true because even if we’re not able to control what is happening in the world around us, we can still control our own thinking.
I hope that these five quick practical tips will help PROTECT you from feeling too stressed in the future.
There is a growing amount of evidence that food can affect our mood so try and eat as healthily as possible.
This is such an effective way of relieving stress, even if you go for one short walk a day outside or take a trip to the park.
TAKE TIME OUT TO RELAX
Strike the balance between your responsibilities and priorities; making sure you prioritise self-care! This will often help you find a simple solution to the problem you’re feeling so stressed about.
GET SOME SLEEP
Try and have a healthy sleep pattern! Perhaps you can journal your thoughts before you sleep to help your mind to relax and not run in overdrive.
DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF!
Try and keep things in perspective, be kind to yourself and look at the positives in life.
Remember in all of this, you are not alone! A recent survey showed that 74% of people felt stressed and overwhelmed at some point over the last year. We can get through this together!