As we all know, this year has been more stressful than most and the easement of lockdown could be causing new stresses and anxieties for some.
So how can you manage your stress?
Take care of your body
Eat more nutritious foods and move your body! When you exercise, your body releases feel good chemicals called “endorphins”. Not only does exercise help release these chemicals, but it can also be a good distraction from your stress and is known to help improve your sleep. Yoga and meditation are great ways to centre yourself and focus on your breathing, but try any movement that feels good to you.
Talk to someone you trust
Sharing your problems with someone else can often relieve some of the pressure and help you view things from a new perspective. If you don’t have any friends or family you feel you can speak to, contact the Samaritans here. https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/
Take a break
The world can feel like a very overwhelming place right now, so if you need a time out, take one! If you find yourself feeling stressed by the news, switch it off and watch something that makes you feel good. If you have annual leave remaining, take a long weekend to relax and do something that makes you feel good.
Try reducing your caffeine and alcohol intake
A glass of wine may feel like it helps you to relax after a hard day, but consistently drinking alcohol to unwind won’t help in the long run. Alcohol is a depressant and disrupts the balance of chemicals in your brain. Regular drinking over time can interfere with what our brain needs and can upset our sleep.
Caffeine is also something to avoid too much of. It’s a stimulant and its effects on our body are similar to a scary event. It triggers our “flight or fight” response.
That’s not to say that your morning coffee or an evening glass of wine are bad, just consume them in moderation.
Recognise when you need extra support
If you feel like you can’t manage your stress levels yourself, know that it’s okay to ask for help.
Visit the NHS page on stress for more information about how to cope.