In our fast-paced world, stress has become a common part of our lives.
Whether it's due to work pressure, financial worries, or personal struggles, stress can take a toll on our mental and physical health.
I have realised more than ever that when times are tough, it's essential to find ways to reduce stress and maintain our well-being. I find this hard to do, but here's what has helped me. Here are five tips that can help you manage stress during difficult times:
1 - Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment without judgment.
Sounds a bit rainbows and unicorns? Yup I thought so too. But I surprise myself when I say it has helped me.
It helps you become more aware of your thoughts and emotions, and how they affect your body.
By practicing mindfulness regularly, you can reduce stress and improve your mental clarity.
I suggest starting by taking a few deep breaths and focusing on your breaths. You can also try mindful meditation, which involves sitting quietly and focusing on your breaths.
I used one of those meditation app thingys. I failed on the sitting still part, but for me being outside, walking in the beautiful Devon countryside and listening to one of those mini meditations works.
2 - Stay Active
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress.
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are natural mood boosters.
The irony is that when I am caught in that cycle of stress, I find it hard to break out of the cycle - but when I do, I feel better. I have to remind myself that sometimes the most productive thing to do is to stop, step away and do something else.
Regular exercise can also improve your sleep, which is essential for managing stress.
The good news is that it doesn't have to be some crazy, super intense workout to stay active.
A 20 minute walk (my favourite) or yoga session can help you feel better.
3 - Connect with People
When you're going through a tough time, it's important to have a support system.
How many times have you replied "I'm fine" when you're not. The Boy Friend rolls his eyes at me now when I say this - and I am trying much harder to be honest about what I am feeling. (And avoid any references to wanting to kill anyone).
Talking to people you trust can help you feel better and reduce stress. You can connect with friends and family members, or join a support group.
You can and should seek professional help if you're struggling with mental health issues, there's no shame in asking for help.
4 - Practice Self-Care
Self-care is essential for managing stress, and no surprise to hear that I am a huge fan of talking the time to look after yourself.
I firmly believe this is not optional or some sort of luxury but a way of taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental well-being - and your right.
You can practice self-care by taking a relaxing bath, (try my De-Stress bath Oil 🙃) reading a book, or getting a massage.
You can also practice self-care by eating healthily, getting enough sleep, and reducing less healthy habits like smoking or drinking.
5 - Focus on the Present
When you're going through a tough time, it's easy to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets about the past.
I find it too easy to move in my head from what happens if I disappoint my customers because the supplier has run out of key ingredient X and this moves to I am the most incompetent business woman ever and I am a failure. ( I think I might need therapy).
However, focusing on the present moment can help you reduce stress and feel more grounded. You can try mindfulness exercises, such as body scans or visualisation, to help you focus on the present moment.
In conclusion, managing stress during difficult times requires intentional effort, and you are worth it.
By practicing mindfulness, staying active, connecting with people, practicing self-care, and focusing on the present, you can reduce stress and maintain your well-being.
Remember, it's okay to ask for help if you need it.
Seeking support from loved ones or professionals and prioritising yourself can help you manage stress and get through tough times.