The modern world can be a stressful place to live, and the past year has seen so many people's stress levels increase. According to The Mental Health Foundation, 74% of adults have felt overwhelmed and unable to cope due to stress in the last year.
While we can't always control the outside factors that cause us stress, we can find ways to cope, to deal with the stress and to minimise the effects that it has on us.
Regular exercise is fantastic at reliving stress. It lowers stress hormones and increases endorphins which make you feel good. It can make you feel more confident and improve your sleep. Even going for a long walk will give you the benefits.
WRITE IT OUT
Having a regular journaling practice can be a great too when you are stressed. Sometimes the simple act of writing out your worries can help to ease them. It is also good to focus your thoughts on the positives in your life by writing a gratitude list.
PRACTICE SELF CARE
Soak in an aromatherapy bath, put on a face mask, have a massage. Not only will they feel good in the moment, but they all help your body to relax, and take your mind off the stresses of life.
We've all seen the effects of not being able to see our loved ones this last year. Spending time with friends and family is a huge stress releiver and increases your sense of self-worth and belonging. If you can’t meet in person, have regular phone calls or video calls.
Meditation and yoga are both wonderful tools for bringing a little mindfulness into your life. They help you slow down, to reconnect with your body and breath, and can lower your stress and anxiety levels.
REDUCE YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
Too much caffeine can increase your anxiety. While it can be helpful in moderation, some people find too much gives them the jitters. If you are already feeling stressed, then caffeine may be making that worse. Switch for calming herbal teas such as Lemon Balm, Chamomile and Echinacea.
Using aromatherapy products with mood boosting essential oils can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep and increase our energy. You could burn an aromatherapy candle whilst you work, use an aromatherapy room spray around your space and onto the pillow before bed, or soak with an aromatherapy bath salt.
Social Media can be a wonderful way to keep connected, yet it can also intrude into our lives and make us feel more stressed. If you find yourself endlessly scrolling through posts, feeling that you don't 'match up' to everyone's highlight reels, or stressed out because everyone else is so busy... then maybe it's time to unplug. Whether it's for an hour before bed or for a whole weekend, a social media break can leave you feel less stressed and more present.