Top Tips to Beat The Stress Factor
On November 1st to November 7th it will be International Stress Awareness Week. The week was created in 2018 to raise awareness about how to prevent and how to reduce stress, and this year marks 23 years since the establishment of Stress Awareness Day in 1998. With a global pandemic, lockdowns, furlough, redundancy piled on top of the usual day to day stresses, the past 18 months has put more pressure than ever on people across the globe including Britain. The International Stress Awareness Week has now developed into a major annual event which focuses on stress management and campaigns against the stigma so many people across the country find themselves affected by.
Sometimes we battle on through, unaware of why we’re feeling the way we do, or just how much pressure is weighing down on us. We need to take more time for ourselves to assess our mental health and do some good old self care!
So, here are our top tips on how to reduce stress:
- Have a good laugh – with friends, a tv or radio show, let yourself go and go with it, feel the release and don’t hold back. For more ideas to get your silly side back – ideas on how to laugh more!
- Have a good cry once a week – One Japanese academic claims that the most beneficial way to relieve stress is to shed a tear or several, once a week (Independent.co.uk)
- Exercise – We all know that any exercise can help and release your endorphins, even if it’s just dancing around the kitchen once a day. Although some forms will be better than others, with yoga, in particular, is a well-known stress reliever.
- Get outdoors – One of my favourite ways to de-stress is to get to the beach. In most weathers, the beach is an instant mood lifter. The sunsets are gorgeous and there’s nothing like being wrapped up warm in some waterproofs when it’s howling with rain. (One of our consultants Sam’s favourite thing to do!)
- Use some natural remedies – such as Kava Root, Lavender, Chamomile or a comforting cup of peppermint tea.
- Meditation – Your brain needs to wind down and have some time out, meditation is a good way to do this. There are stacks of guided meditation apps and videos online.
- Positivity – as Prince said. Take a positive view on things and it always seems better. Easier said than done sometimes!
- Practice Mindfulness – Try and live in the present moment and enjoy it. What is mindfulness?
It can be easy to rush through life without stopping to notice much – let’s try to stop and take a moment.
“Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing.
Some people call this awareness “mindfulness”. Mindfulness can help us enjoy life more and understand ourselves better. You can take steps to develop it in your own life. “ (NHS website)
- Music – Good for the soul and mental wellbeing.
- Deep breathing – the simple act of taking some slow deep breaths.
“First take a deep breath, or two. Remember, even if you can’t control the event causing the stress, you do have some control over your response to it. As an old Yiddish saying goes, “You can’t control the wind; but you can adjust your sails.” Mindy Greenstein, Ph.D.
- Light a candle, use essential oils or enjoy a hot bath.
- Accept that you can’t control everything – this act of realisation will instantly lift some of the pressure you may feel.
- Reduce your caffeine intake – We all have different stress levels, but caffeine is well known for increasing adrenaline, affecting your cortisol levels, also known as stress hormone and Adenosine levels which help you stay calm.
- Make a list – Take control of what you need to do, the act of writing it down instantly helps you feel like your making progress and tackling what needs to be done.
- Learn to say No – Manage your to-do list at work and at home, have you got time to do that extra thing now, you can’t do everything. Delegate!
- Spend Time with Friends and Family – Social time with your nearest and dearest who know you and love you for who you are, you’ll get laughs, tears and hugs – the ultimate stress buster!
- Reduce the Tech – We all know that technology is taking over our lives and we need to make sure we manage it and use it to our benefits. Using a phone before bed is show to increase how long it takes you to get to sleep, not to mention to constant wondering of who said what, when and about what! Our Director Laura used to wake up and immediately read the news. She now feels so much better in the mornings after she stopped this habit – far too much negativity about the world for first thing in the morning!
- Review your Screen Time – On that last point, do you really know how much screen time you have on a daily basis? Many phones now have screen time tools to monitor your usage, showing you how you use your phone – with categories for creativity, productivity and Social Networking – check yours!
- As well as ‘Downtime’, ‘Book time’ to use your phone or Ipad
I’ve had moments when I’ve realised I need to switch off from my phone or ipad and to do that I need to literally put it out of sight or put it on mute. Try to check your phone every few hours, for 5 minutes. Then put it away.
Use tools like newsfeedburner to avoid the distractions if you do need to look at Facebook LinkedIn or YouTube for work reasons…
- Try another way – Why not just make a phone call instead? Don’t email or text, have a chat – crazy hey!
- Sort your settings
Turn off the notifications for email, What’s app, Messenger, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, texts, Snapchat, eBay, Amazon, news, games, diary alerts, LinkedIn, software updates, health apps, podcasts, youtube, Google alerts, bank alerts, facetime, google photos –I feel stressed already… :0)
More top tips on how to reduce stress: Get some more top tips on how to reduce stress here from the psychology experts
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