This #StressAwarenessDay we want to let you know that it’s OK to be not OK. This is a time when you may be feeling particularly stressed and anxious. You may be worried about the future as we continue to go through the current pandemic, and/or feeling overwhelmed with the "New Normal".
It’s understandable to have these feelings and we want to help you manage them.
Stress is the body’s reaction to feeling threatened or under pressure. It is very common and it can actually have positive benefits. It can help motivate you to achieve goals and manage the demands of home and work life. However, too much stress can have a major effect on your mood, body and relationships. You may be feeling particularly anxious or irritable and it’s important to recognise these feelings so you can begin to work on ways to improve your mood and well-being.
Look out for the signs...
Thoughts - You may think things like 'everyone else is coping just fine', 'it's my fault, 'something bad is going to happen', 'I won't be able to cope' or 'I feel bad so it must be bad'.
Feelings - You're anxious, fearful, worried, nervous, restless, or agitated.
Behaviour - You're avoiding certain people, places, situations, not going out, only going to places at certain times, only going with someone else, or leaving early. You may also be relying more on alcohol or drugs.
Physical symptoms - You get headaches, muscles and/or chest pain, sweating, tingling, numbness, shaking, dizziness, rapid or shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat or palpitations, dry mouth, or upset tummy.
How to de-stress at home
Mindfulness helps you develop skills and techniques to cope with the daily challenges a busy life can bring such as stress and anxiety. It involves making a special effort to give your full attention to what is happening in the present moment –and to what's happening in your body, your mind and/or your surroundings. Click here to find out more about Mindfulness and it's benefits. AWARE Board Member and Indigo Life Coach, Helen McDonnell is also currently running free drop-in mindfulness sessions too! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Exercising has a feel-good effect. It can boost your self-confidence, help you sleep and generally make you feel better. Try and introduce at least 30 minutes of exercise per day whether it be a brisk walk or try a home-workout!
Take some time to do things that will help you relax. It could be reading, yoga, or just a short walk on your lunch break. Make sure to schedule in some "me" time and focus on self-care.
A healthy balanced diet is just as important for your mental health as well as your physical health. Focus on eating lots of fruit and veg. Try to keep caffeine and sugar at a minimum to help you function at your best.
Talk about it
Opening up to someone about how you are feeling can really help. Talk to a friend or close family member who will listen and will not judge, but give support. They may offer a different perspective and help you cope better with what you are going through.
We hope these tips will help you begin to think about introducing ways to manage stress into your daily routine. However, if you are struggling and in need of support, AWARE is here to help you. Click here to find out more information about the services we have available during COVID-19.
If you or someone you know requires direct support, please call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000 or Samaritans on 116 123.
#StressAwarenessDay #ManagingStress #MentalHealthMatters