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AD. Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month? With the new financial year starting in April for lots of businesses, and self-employed people, it doesn’t come as a surprise to me! In April I always find myself spinning lots of plates. I have a tax return that I want to get filed as early as possible. There are lots of family Birthdays and it is the time of the year when our social calendar always begins to fill up. Today I want to share with you 9 tips to reduce stress. Hopefully, these tips will help you during National Stress Awareness Month and beyond!
9 tips to reduce stress for Stress Awareness Month
Step away from social media
When I am feeling stressed it is often because I am overwhelmed. Perhaps I have a lot of work I want to achieve. Maybe lots of people require my time. I find that stepping away from social media can really help me to reduce stress. This way I don’t see any more messages, take on anyone else’s stress or feel myself being pulled into activities that really are a time sink. Even one hour away, during a busy workday, can make a huge difference. I find that having a digital declutter is good for helping me step away from social media easier too!
I have been doing this for about 2 months now and it’s made a huge difference to my overall mood. I am more motivated, work faster and feel like my brain is keeping up with all of life’s demands. After I work out I receive a rush of good hormones and these help me to feel like I’ve achieved something with my day. Also, while I am completing my 30 minutes daily exercise I am able to think clearly about the time I have to work. I can plan my day, remember things I need to achieve and I just feel sharper and more focused.
Complete a brain dump
When I have lots of things swirling around inside my head this increases the chance of forgetting something. In turn, this causes me to hold on to more stress. By grabbing a piece of paper, or opening notes on my phone, I can jot down everything that is bothering me. Then I am able to assign this to an hour or day, in the coming days, where I will achieve it. This is a fantastic help, particularly when not everything is an urgent job. Consider talking to a professional, which you can find on BetterHelp, if you need some better talking therapies than you have.
Being tired, and fatigued, often leads to stress for me. In the last couple of months, I have made a number of changes to try and combat this. I have started to take Zenflore, which is a supplement designed to offer complete support for your mind and body during busy and demanding times. As we have a couple of family weddings coming up, plus I have a big operation next month, I really need all the help I can get. I have been reading more recently about the link between gut health and overall wellbeing and really feel this is the change I need to be healthier. Find out more about Zenflore with their helpful FAQ page.
Try a temple balm
I love to use a temple balm when I am feeling a little stressed. The sleepy therapy balm from Scentered is lovely but I also love this Elemis Quiet Mind Temple Balm. This is the perfect size to keep in my pocket or make-up bag. I dab a little on my jawline, temples and even wrists when I need to calm down. Sometimes it is just the action that helps me to stay grounded and avoid anxiety. The smell of a good temple balm is a big help to me too.
Enjoy 15 minutes peace and quiet
Where possible I try and make time for 15 minutes peace and quiet. With a little one at home, this isn’t always possible, so sometimes I just settle for 5 minutes. I will prepare a cup of tea or other hot drink, prepare Daisy a snack and then just go and sit on my bed for 5-15 minutes. This little bit of peace and quiet helps me to remain calm, gather my thoughts and decide what my plan of action is going to be for difficult situations.
Lower caffeine intake
When I was pregnant, and keeping my caffeine intake low, it surprised me just how many products have caffeine in. People often think that avoiding caffeine or lowering your intake, just means avoiding coffee. It is so much more than this! Tea, many fizzy drinks, ice cream and chocolate all contain caffeine, sometimes in high levels. Lowering your caffeine intake may help you feel less jittery and also avoid aggravating any symptoms of anxiety or stress.
When I first heard about meditation, from a friend who does it daily, I figured it was just another type of alternative therapy that didn’t have any proven results. Well, I was wrong! I now use Headspace on my iPhone regularly. I don’t meditate daily but I do use it on days when I have a big workload or lots of plates to spin. If you don’t have money available to pay for a subscription then Headspace does provide a basic meditation for free. Also, you can find LOTS of great videos on YouTube and Spotify has a number of fantastic guided meditations available. During National Stress Awareness Month if you only take up on of these tips then meditation is a fantastic one! It takes just minutes and can leave you feeling brilliant afterwards.
Practice positivity and gratitude
I’m a huge fan of staying positive. I was going through a difficult time recently, with housing. I reminded myself, repeatedly, that I have been through many worse situations than this before. Each time I have made it through relatively unscathed. Being able to find the positive in most situations has helped me to become a calmer, kinder and more rounded person. Also, to practice gratitude when I am feeling down, or suffering from stress, I think about 3 things I am grateful for right at that moment. I might be something simple, like having heating or running water, or it might be something much larger. It is very easy to feel down, when under stress, but positivity and gratitude have helped me hugely. Also, I truly believe that when you are grateful for what you have more good things will happen to you.
If you’re looking for some more ways to cope with stress during National Stress Awareness Month then the Stress Management Society has a lot of useful resources on their website.