A leading expert in mental ill health has shared her tips on best dealing with stress as part of National Stress Awareness Day.
Lynn Crilly says that “in today’s demanding world, it is virtually impossible to find someone who would not describe themselves as stressed.”
Ms Crilly, an author and counsellor, has now shared seven tips which she says can help people to cope better.
Her advice comes on National Stress Awareness Day which was set up by the International Stress Management Association, with the mission of raising awareness of the effects of psychological distress in the workplace and strategies to address it. The day also aims to reduce the stigma of stress in the workplace.
Lynn says: “One of the most common misconceptions surrounding anxiety is that it is the same as being stressed. In today’s demanding world, it is virtually impossible to find someone who would not describe themselves as stressed, at least some of the time. As a result, many people may sometimes or even quite often, feel anxious. Some stress or anxiety throughout life is natural. It can even be helpful, keeping us on our toes and helping us face and overcome some of the daily challenges that life brings. However, too much stress – and the unpleasant symptoms it can cause – can have the opposite effect, paralysing us and stopping us from living our lives and moving forward.
“With modern everyday life running at the fast pace it is, many if not most find it hard to switch of and therefore cannot avoid stress, with day to day hassles, demands and pressures can be just as stressful as having to deal with the bigger challenges life throws at us,
“So with all this in mind it is paramount to be mindful of having some things that you know will help you to balance your daily life more and give you that much needed time to allow you head to clear, your body to rest, recharge and in turn ready to face life again.
Here, Lynn shares seven tips to help you manage stress levels:
- Take Breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news or social media: It is good to keep up with world events, but hearing things constantly can be upsetting and cause worry about things that are out of your control. Maybe limit news and social media to a couple of times a day, having a phone-free hour and switching of an hour before bed.
- Be Active: Exercise does more than keep you fit, it can be a way to manage stress, lower anxiety and lift your mood, whether it be walking outside in the fresh air and amongst nature, dancing round your living room to your favourite music or sweating through a gym class, any form or exercise has been proven to help melt away the stress levels and leave you feeling more positive and focused.
- Avoid Unhealthy Habits: Alcohol, smoking and caffeine are often what people reach for as their coping mechanisms, whilst they may provide temporary relief, in the long term these ‘security crutches’ will not solve the problems, but the dependency may even cause new ones.
- Have some ‘ME’ time: Many of us work long hour, which often means we do not get the time to do what we enjoy doing. It is important to take, or should I say make some time for what you enjoy, whether it be socialising, exercise or just relaxing doing something creative, reading or watching something on television. If possible, try setting aside one or two nights a week for some quality ‘me time’.
- Get enough sleep: sleep plays a vital part in good health and well-being throughout a person’s life, getting enough good quality sleep at the right times can help to protect their mental and physical well-being, so is paramount when feeling stressed or anxious as will help you to deal with situations with a clearer mind.
- Try to be positive: Sometimes hard I know but try to look for positives in life, and things for which you are grateful for. At the end of each day write down three things that you are grateful for.
- Be Kind to yourself: Be kind to yourself. Learning to be kinder to yourself can help with how you feel in different situations. Try to take breaks in your day so you can recharge and reset. Praise yourself for your achievements however small they are