Managing stress is a life skill we all need to develop. After all, no matter who you are, life won’t always be plain sailing! It’s the bad times in life that help us to appreciate the good.
Whether it’s external pressures of life getting you down, or something in the office, dealing with unmanaged stress can have an adverse effect on every aspect of your life; from your physical health and the amount of sleep you get, to your relationships and mood.
But when you’re already in a stressed-out state of mind, it can feel almost impossible to take the step back to refocus and get on top of what’s causing you to feel out of control.
Why not try these methods? They take no more than 5 minutes of your time each day and can give you clarity to make you feel in control, despite things that may be causing you stress in the workplace and beyond…
- Identify your triggers
Make a note every time you feel overwhelmed with stress. What caused it? How did you react to the stressor? Being mindful of what stresses us out and how we usually cope with it can surprise you – you might be shocked at just how much you’re coping with at once! But remember, not having enough work, activities or another change to your life can be equally as stressful as having too much on your plate.
- Choose things that are good for your body and mind
It can feel easy to reach for the fast food or alcohol when you’re feeling stressed, but it can easily become a habit which makes you feel far worse in the long run. The endorphins provided to us by exercise are great for busting the stress – even just a walk round the block is better than nothing! But we’re not just talking about things good for you physically here. If you can, make time to do things that bring you joy such as spending time with family or setting a few minutes aside for a hobby or pastime.
- Get organised
You don’t have to make big changes to your lifestyle to make a big difference to how you feel able to cope with the stressors of daily life. Firstly, set out a time of day to suit you to organise your time. Make a list of things you have to do each day and tick it off as you go – try to focus on the most urgent tasks first, although sometimes getting the smaller quick jobs done first can be the positive boost you need to get you in the productive frame of mind.
- Accept the things you can’t change
It might be difficult to accept, but some things in life we just can’t change. Consider whether it’s worth spending time with stressful thoughts about these things when nothing can be done. Focusing your time and energy more productively on the things you can do to help, is time much better spent.
“Sometimes I take a minute to ‘reply’ to my stressy thoughts… it’s hard to be stressed when you’ve got things in perspective! Most of the things I worry about are either things I can’t change or things which aren’t earth-shatteringly important.” – Anon, mind.org
This blog post is the fourth in a series in support of Mental Health Awareness month this May.
If you’re struggling with mental ill health, don’t suffer in silence.
Call Samaritans 116 123
Text ‘SHOUT’ to 85258 or ‘YM’ if you’re under 19