I’m not sure about you, but rising energy costs, the cost of living, trying to balance working life as well as raising a family as just a few of the things causing stress. And that’s before we even start thinking about the war in Ukraine, #Partygate, and #HotelRwanda. So this stress awareness month, I thought I’d look at 5 ways to reduce stress. I think we could all do with this:
Stress is something that everyone feels at times, and there are all kinds of stressful situations that are part of daily life. In fact, small amounts of stress can even be helpful or motivational. However, too much stress, especially when it is out of our control, can lead to anxiety, depression, and reduced self-confidence.
According to a survey carried out in the UK in 2020, the most common type of stress experienced by Brits was work stress, with 79 percent of respondents saying they frequently felt this type of stress. Furthermore, 60 percent of respondents frequently feel monetary stress, while 48 percent experienced family stress. 
In a survey carried out in March 2020, 51 percent of young people in the United Kingdom (UK) reported that the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and public health measures have made their mental health worse. Furthermore, 32 percent say the impact of the coronavirus crisis has made their mental health much worse. 
How to help
So how can we help to reduce stress, well there are a few steps we can take which might help:
Talk to someone – What’s the old saying ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’. Good friends, family, and colleagues can help us when we are struggling. Or calling a helpline to discuss how we are feeling, or if we are having a problem paying bills, etc. It can sometimes seem so hard to admit or vocalise, but it really is like a weight being lifted when you share.
Split up big tasks – Sometimes things can seem truly overwhelming and you don’t know where to start. Splitting things up into smaller tasks can make things much more manageable. As each task is done or ticked off, you can feel a great sense of achievement, and build resilience and it can really help to reduce the stress and overwhelm.
Plan/Organise ahead – Sometimes we can find specific situations and/or events stressful. I know I do, and building them up in our heads only makes the situation worse. It can really help to plan or organise parts that we can, ahead. Make a to-do list, check the journey ahead (buy tickets, plan your route), and look out everything you need to take.
Be active – We all know that exercise is good for us, but it also helps our mental well-being too. It might not take away the stress, but it gives us time to think clearly and calmly and reduce the intensity of the feeling.
Take control – Not everything that we stress about is within our control. If it is something that is out of our control then we need to try and accept that we cannot change the situation (possible job redundancy, increasing energy prices). Instead, focus on what we can control (looking for a new job, looking for a new energy provider, or ways to reduce usage).
Find what works for you…
Stress affects everyone differently, and the thing that causes one person stress, may not affect another. Stressful feelings tend to happen when we feel we do not have the ability to manage the challenges we face. Pressure at work, school or home, an illness, or difficult life events can all lead to stress.
I’d love you to try the above and see how it can help you reduce your stress, but there are also lots of other things you can try too. Find out what works for you. I’ve definitely found that the above really helps. But also looking at what I eat, how much caffeine and alcohol I consume, and a little self-care really helps too.
I hope this lets you find ways of reducing stress in your life. But do reach out if it feels like it is getting too much!
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