Today is National Stress Awareness Day so I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you some of the stress relieving techniques that really work for me. As you will know recently I’ve been quite poorly and not knowing what was wrong was such a stressful, worrying time. I didn’t realise how physical as well as mentally exhausting the symptoms of stress can be until then. So, I’m bringing you my top tips in combating stress, as I know first hand how difficult living with stress and anxiety can be.
- Take deep breaths – The first thing to do in a stressful situation is take deep breaths. Constricting the breath can stop you from thinking straight and making a rational decision so this is such an important step. Imagine you are breathing the air all the way to below your belly button, hold the breath for a couple of seconds and repeat. This really works for me when I feel I’m getting short of breath.
- A problem shared – The old saying really does work, speaking with friends about a problem really does mean a problem halved. It’s also nice to gain another perspective on the situation or relate to someone who’s been through the same.
- Ask “Will this matter a year from now?” – This is an amazing technique, I’m sure at times we have all blown a situation out of proportion. So when a situation feels like it is the be all and end all, you need to ask ‘will this matter a year from now?’ and usually the answer is “No”. Most situations blow over in a few hours, let alone days or weeks, in a years time you probably won’t even remember it! So remember how you feel is only temporary.
- Relaxing hot drinks – It’s no secret that hot drinks are great to help with relaxation. Hot milk is the traditional remedy however I love drinks like Horlicks, Herbal Teas like Camomile and fruity hot drinks like Fruitbroo.
- Take time for yourself – Sometimes we all need a break from everything, so make sure to allow time for yourself, even if it’s just a couple of minutes away from your desk or a walk around the park on your lunchbreak. It allows you to refresh, take some deep breaths and start again with a fresh attitude. If you have more time, hot baths are great for relaxation, or getting outside to do some exercise.
- Do something you enjoy – Learning to knit and crochet really helped me to unwind, it’s so satisfying to make something by hand, and a welcome distraction too.
- Get a good nights sleep – I definitely feel a lot worse when I’ve had a bad nights sleep, so I try and give myself the best chance of a good night by lighting some scented candles, reading a good book and keeping the room nice and warm. I also use a relaxing sounds app on my phone which plays things like wind, ocean, zen, birdsong etc. I thought those sounds would be annoying but they really work!
- Treat yourself – A spa treatment, a cupcake or something to wear! Everyone deserves a little treat now and again, spoil yourself, you deserve it!
What are your top tips for stress relief?