74% of UK adults say that they have felt so stressed at some point over the last year that they felt overwhelmed.
Stress is something we all deal with, however it’s important to find healthy ways of dealing with stress. This stress awareness month we want to ensure everyone knows how to manage their stress and that they have effective ways of coping,
What is causing stress?
It’s important to look at the cause of your stress. It may be one thing or multiple things.
We’re all excited at the thought of lockdown continuing to ease, however, it can feel overwhelming.
You may have made promises to see lots of people or you feel there is pressure to go out and do everything you’ve missed out on or maybe you’re worried about how much life after lockdown is going to cost you!
We can’t predict the future and this uncertainty can often cause us to feel stressed.
Remember it is okay to say no and there is no rush to do anything. If you’re worried about your finances, look at our recent blog here.
Don’t ignore it
Leaving your stress to mount up, makes the situation far worse.
We know that stress has an impact on your mental health and it affects the way we think, we become more forgetful, indecisive and struggle to concentrate.
When we’re stressed our behaviour can become irrational. This may mean we turn to unhealthy ways of coping, from binge eating to using drugs and alcohol.
Stress affects the body physically, from getting poor sleep to a weakened immune system.
Addressing your stress is key to feeling better mentally and physically.
The 4 A’s of stress management
Avoid, Alter, Adapt & Accept
Avoid unnecessary stress. Learn how to say ‘no’ to things. Take control of what you can, if watching the news makes you stressed, limit how much you watch.
Alter the situation. If you can’t avoid the situation then try to alter it. This may mean changing the way you communicate and operate. Be willing to compromise. Try to create a balanced schedule, life can be stressful but make sure you set aside time for you.
Adapt to the stressor. If you can’t change the stressor, change yourself. You can adapt to stressful situations and feel in control by changing your attitude. Focus on the big picture, ask yourself how important this will be in the long run and if its worth feeling stressed over.
Accept the things you can’t change. As we have learned recently, some things are out of our control. We have to accept that sometimes things are the way they. It can be difficult but it’s easier than stressing over something out of your control.
Learning ways of managing our stress is important. For short term stress it’s a good idea to have some go-to stress busters that help relieve stress and take your mind off the situation.
Be active. Exercise can help clear your head and help calm you.
Connect with others. Spending time with friends can help take your mind off things and can help you relax.
Have some ‘me time’. Juggling work life and social life is difficult. Make sure you set out time each week to do something you enjoy.
Avoid unhealthy habits. It can be easy to use alcohol or drugs to cope, however these only ever provide a short term relief and usually leave you feeling worse.
Get a good night’s sleep. Not getting enough sleep often makes situations worse. If you’re struggling to sleep try apps like calm, loona or noisli.
Keep a track of your mood. Mood tracking apps like modlily or daylio can help you see patterns in how you’re feeling and why you may be feeling that way.
Reduce your caffeine intake. Too much caffeine can cause you to feel more stressed and anxious.
Find something you enjoy. Find a hobby or an activity that you enjoy. Having something you enjoy outside of work is a great way to switch off.
If you feel overwhelmed.
For most of us, stress is short term and it’s manageable. If you feel that your problems are long term and they are causing you to have anxiety or other mental health issues, there is always somewhere you can reach out.