Stress is something that affects most people, I try to remind myself that when I feel like I can’t cope, wanting to instead hide from the world under my duvet... Except I’m stood there, nails bitten down and soldiering on as such. A few years back stress of everyday life became too much, I couldn’t handle doing everyday things like washing and staying up to date with work, and I felt myself sinking. Four years on, I still experience stress but I now recognise the triggers and the feelings when things are becoming too much and I know what to do to manage how I feel.
1. Decide to look after yourself
The first and most important thing you need to do is listen to your body and think, “yep it’s time for me to look after myself”. It could be physically and/ or mentally, but you have to recognise that you need to look after you.
Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.”- Jim Rohn
If you’re stressed at work, think about what is causing the stress…
Too small of a workload? Bullying? If you can’t find out what is causing your stress, write down everything you feel anxious or stressed about, creating a list could help you visually see any links or areas that are the cause. For example, you might be stressed at work but find out you’re main stress is coming from problems in your marriage.
When you find out where the problem lies consider the ways to improve how you feel. If you have troubles with your relationship, perhaps having an honest heart to heart chat could help or setting time everyday to spend together can improve things.
If you carry on doing things the same, the stress won’t go away and could become more intense.
3. Be in the now
You’ve probably heard this phrase a lot recently, I know I have with mindfulness becoming more popular. When it relates to stress it’s not thinking about things you have done which you can’t change, or about things in the future, which can cause you stress deliberating about what might or may not happen. It’s about concentrating on the present. The ‘here and now’. What things do you need to do now to help with how you feel?- Eat something you enjoy? Talk to a friend? Have a bath?
At the end of the day think about what went well that day, what could have been done differently or what’s caused some stress. I find making a list of what needs to be done the next day, stops me from having racing thoughts that keep me up.
Organising your thoughts is a great way to reduce mental stress.
5. Be kind to yourself
Being kind to yourself is important, although a lot of people find it difficult, I know I do! It’s something that doesn’t just happen overnight. You take small steps everyday being kind to yourself until you don’t realise anymore that you are deliberately doing things to be kind to yourself.
6. Be positive
It’s the age old question, is the glass half full or half empty? Being more of a glass half full person, having a positive outlook on life can help improve your mood.
Having a different outlook on life can help you be more motivated as you can turn problems into opportunities. Seeing the positive qualities in yourself can help you boost your self-esteem and in turn is being kind to yourself.
7. Give back
Helping others is a great way to boost your emotional wellbeing, as it can help you…
- Build confidence
- Meet new people
- Learn new things
- Gain a sense of achievement
- Looks great on your CV
If you want to learn some practical skills to better manage the stress in your life book onto the college’s short course Understanding Stress.