April is nearly here, which means that Stress Awareness Month is nearly here too. So today we’re looking at 15 ways that you can reduce it in your everyday life.
Stress is a normal part of everyday life for the vast majority of us. Yet when too much stress is having an overly detrimental effect on our lives on a day-to-day basis, that’s when something needs to change.
The first thing to do, if it’s not glaringly obvious already, is to identify what is causing the stress. Is it a culmination of little things, which on their own would not be a massive issue? Or is it one particular thing? Something like a situation or a person that is the problem?
Once the problem is identified then it’s a good idea to think about what you can do to change things. This of course is not always easy and sometimes not possible. However, if it’s a person causing your stress levels to rise, for example, try to perhaps distance yourself from them. If it’s a situation in work, try to get support from your colleagues to change things.
Although in reality some situations are always going to cause a certain level of stress. The important thing is knowing how to deal with that stress and finding ways to keep it manageable. So with this in mind we’ve compiled a list of relaxation suggestions below. Find what works for you and make a conscious effort to fit it into your lifestyle.
1. Try to maintain a decent work-life balance.
This is not always easy but anyone who manages to do this will tell you the difference it can make to your stress levels. Learn to say no when you’re being asked to do too much. You’re not being lazy, you’re just choosing to look after yourself.
2. Spend time with people who make you feel happy
Eat around the table and chat. Walk the dog (or a neighbour’s in you don’t have a pooch). Potter in the garden. Watch a film cwtched up on the settee.
3. Turn the TV off and do something else
Play a board game or a game of cards. Or you could try adult colouring? Then there’s always wordsearch or crossword books.
4. Have a bath
Take a soak in the bath, perhaps with a good book or your favourite magazine and a couple of scented candles.
5. Take up a new hobby
Learning something new can give you a different focus and stop you over-worrying about things that you perhaps can’t change.
6. Exercise is a fab way of relieving stress
This doesn’t have to include a visit to the gym which can be costly and daunting to many of us. Finding something you like is key. Whether that’s joining a dance class, finding a yoga class, or attending a weekly park run in your area. Even a brisk walk in the fresh air can make us feel far better. Check out this link for park runs local to you.
7. Go to a pub quiz with your friends
These are usually held in the week and can be a fun way of breaking up the working week.
8. Go gadget free for one night of the week
Sounds scary I know. Listen to some of your favourite music instead. Music can take us back to happier, less stressful times.
9. Try to get a good night’s sleep
For most people this equates to about 8 hours undisturbed rest. Setting the scene for sleep is as important for adults as it is for young children. Try not to take your phone into the bedroom or watch television. Bedrooms should only be used for 2 things ideally, sleeping and… well you know what else 😉
Whether that’s your home or workplace. This can be almost therapeutic and can give you a real sense of satisfaction as everything feels more organised and you feel more in control.
11. Eat a healthy balanced diet
Doing this will make you feel less stressed as you should hopefully suffer with less low level illnesses, you look and feel better and your confidence levels are increased.
12. Choose to think positive
This can be a struggle when we’re stressed but research has shown that by making a concerted effort to think positive can be very effective. Seeing the positives in situations becomes a habit. Fake it till you make it!
13. Laughter is the best medicine
So when you’re feeling stressed… choose wisely about who you are with and what you are doing. For example, Mamma Mia rather than Beaches, The Beach Boys rather than Adele, you get the idea 🙂
14. Have a massage
Either by a therapist or by your other half. Have some fun learning together how to relax each other.
15. Learn and use some simple breathing techniques
These can be really useful to use. Mind has some great guidance on stress reducing breathing techniques.
Sadly there is no magic wand when it comes to stress. Yet being aware of what makes us stressed and knowing what we can do ourselves to manage our stress levels is half the battle. Hopefully some of the ideas I’ve given you above have given you food for thought.
If there are any other problems your family is having, then call our advisors on the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline. The helpline is open 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. They can help you to find organisations that can help.