The scourge of modern day living … STRESS! Believe it or not some of stress is good. It helps us get out of dangerous circumstances and prevents us from being complacent in situations that don’t serve us. However, to be wound up to the extreme so we have insomnia, or have illness like migraines, asthma, depression and a host of illness a be trigged because of it? That’s another matter. Sometimes, a boiling point is reached where many have made detrimental decisions. Moreover, stress affects adults and young people, hence, Stress Awareness Month has been held every April since 1992. In 2003, the NGO, Stress Management Society was formed. They are dedicated to helping individuals and companies recognise and reduce stress. COVID has taught us we are stronger together. To mark Stress Awareness Month, here are four ways to manage stress.
Firstly, during national lockdown, due to the coronavirus, we turned to nature. We went out into our gardens and local gardens more. In a bid keep fit and to reduce our anxiety and fear cause by the unknown disease. The sale of plants increase! As a result, we noticed was being close to nature made us feel alive. Dr Qing Li has been at the forefront of Japanese research into forest-bathing. Studies by his team at the Nippon medical school. Their studies have revealed a wide range of health benefits including; lower stress, improve pain thresholds, increases energy, as well as, boost the immune system with an increase in the count of the body’s natural killer (NK) cells”
Don’t despair if you don’t have your own garden, take a day trip to a public park or woodland, a National Trust manor house with gardens or even a community garden. Community farms are always looking for volunteers to help work the land.
As much as I love being on social media as a content creator and consumer, there are times when I need a break. When track back to the trigger of a stressed day, it’s social media. Having a digital detox, stepping away from gadgets and turning to a novel and reading in my favourite corner at home makes it better. It calms my busy mind.
As a newbie mum, water was my big fixer for most things. Even if it simply meant a brief pause to gather my thoughts before returning to the matter at hand. Now, when my children are troubled my first tips is to ‘drink water’, then we have a chat. Simple as as it, drinking water is a life lesson.
Importantly, we are learning together to drink plenty of water to avoid the cycle of being stressed and stressed because your thirsty.
Try colouring in mandalas (which are complex abstract circular designs originally used in Buddhism for meditation). In my experience, the more you colour the simplest designs reveals their true complexity; just like the wonders of life.
On the Stress Management Society website will find a mindful colouring book by Sam Antolik, Stress Relief Audit Colouring Book. Download here, along with other free stress management resources. Action changes things (ACT), so, pick one thing to do daily for yourself. You are part of this amazing world and you matter.
Lastly and by no means least, spring is here. It’s the season of regeneration. You only have to pause look up and listen. Here the baby birds tweet, the bees buzzing the flower buds blooming. Tell me, one thing that you’ll do this month to look after yourself and your stress levels. Comment below.