*This is a collaborative sponsored post
Today we’re talking about some quick and easy ways to reduce stress. I’m not being flippant about this because I do know that ongoing stress is a tough squeeze on life. But if you’re going to start doing something about it, you might as well start with the easy stuff. Start simple and do something, anything, so you can breathe and be calm again.
I know it’s a cliche and I know you’re probably sick of hearing about it, but truly, exercise is one of the most well-proven stress busters there is. Whatever kind of physical movement you enjoy, do more of it.
- Get outside into nature
One of the few things to enjoy about lockdown has been the daily walks. Right now I am particularly enjoying the antics of the squirrels in the park. I thought about bringing one home but Dennis the cat has warned me off.
- Have less caffeine
I’ve been caffeine-free for a few years now, and I really think it makes a big difference to mental health. Just look at the research if you don’t believe me. If you have any tendency towards stress or anxiety, caffeine is not your friend. If cutting it out altogether is too much for you, at least have a caffeine cut off point of no later than 3pm.
- Do more of what energises you…
This is an exercise I use with coaching clients. Make a list of 10 things that give you energy. What is it that excites you? What lights you up? This might include exercise, nutritious food, time with friends or the satisfaction of a job well done. When does time fly for you? That’s the stuff you want to be doing more of.
- …and less of what drains you
The second part of this exercise is to make a list of 10 things that drain you. These are the real culprits when it comes to feeling stressed. What are you currently putting up with in your life? It could be anything from a bad haircut to a cluttered living space to an unhappy relationship or job. Aim to do more of the things that energize you and less of those that don’t. Everything that you eliminate from your draining list will make a substantial difference to your stress levels.
What next to reduce stress?
Never be shy of seeking outside help: from your GP; from an in-person or online pharmacy ; from friends and family. Talking to someone always helps becuse it gets us to see our situation with an outside perspective, and it always looks better from there.
I think it’s clear from this year that lockdown anxiety is very much A Thing, so well done on getting through most of this one. So many areas of life are a compromise right now, that it can be hard to appreciate that it still has good moments to offer. You might not be doing what you’d ideally to be doing, but that’s not to say that you can’t still find some joy in life.
So take care of yourself. Ask for help when you need it. Offer help when you can.
What’s your favourite way to reduce stress? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you
More ideas for how to help your mental health here