How to deal with stress

how to deal with stress

In the 20 episodes of 5 Minutes to Change Your Life that have been published so far, I’ve covered lots of different subjects. But the most popular episodes are the ones that deal with one subject in particular – stress.

This suggests two things to me:

  1. Even as we move into a post-pandemic world, many of us are still pretty stressed
  2. We’re looking for ways to deal with it

Which, if you add it up, isn’t as bad as it could be. What would be worse is if we were all stressed up to the eyeballs but not acknowledging it or seeking out ways to deal with it.

So if you are up to high doh, as we say where I come from (it means the note high doh BTW, and has nothing to do with dough clinging to the ceiling, as I always thought as a child), this is for you.

Stress is inevitable. As an unavoidable part of life, it’s up there with death and taxes. You will not get through life without experiencing stress. Even if your life was 100% sorted, the wider world would still bring stress for you to deal with. We’ve all seen and felt that over the last few years.

Stress normally comes as a result of change in our lives, when we’re put under pressure. But what is life about if not change? No two days are ever the same for anybody. Life is change. That’s what keeps it interesting.

So stress always going to be there. It’s not going away. Stress is normal, and the mythical stress-free life simply doesn’t exist. But we still have to find a way to deal with it so it doesn’t overwhelm us and make us ill.

Think about: What are the things in your life that have helped you to deal with stress in the past? It might be exercise, might be nutrition and eating decent food, it might be spending time with friends or watching or listening to something that makes you laugh, could be a hobby.

Make a plan to include your destressors in your life on a more regular basis. Make them as every day as stress already is.

Don’t wait for stress in order to destress. Charge up your batteries in advance so that when the next stressful time comes along, which it definitely, absolutely will, you’ll be in a better position to deal with it. Get fighting fit, before the fight, essentially. Fill your well before you have to draw from it.

I’m still doing morning yoga most days, with a side order of hula hooping (don’t ask!). This helps me meet my day from a place of calm and be better able to deal with whatever life throws at me.

But yoga (or hula hooping!) might not be your thing. Your thing might be painting or walking or gardening or playing a game. Could be anything, as long as you find it fun. To deal with stress today, identify your thing or things that help you feel calm and then make a plan to do it in the next week.

Get calm before the storm and you stand a better chance of staying calm both during and after it.

Find more help with dealing with stress here