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Tips to manage stress

The theme of Mental Health Awareness week this year is STRESS! So, let's think about some ways to destress.

Okay, the first challenge……avoiding stress isn't possible. Stress is a normal part of life, sometimes it can help us when we need that extra energy to meet a challenge. HOWEVER! Prolonged stress, which begins to affect our health and wellbeing is not good for us, this, in fact, is DISTRESS and it's important we learn how to manage it. 

Knowing how to manage stress means that even when life is challenging, there are things we can do to look after ourselves.

One of the biggest stressors many people face is too much to do, not enough time to do it, so we will keep these tips short and sweet. Things to do in a few minutes to help destress or reduce the impact of stress because of a life challenge:

  • Have a wee read of the steps to managing stress PDF download - below
  • Have a wee listen to the relaxation in 3 mins video
  • Listen to yourself, is what you tell yourself inspiring, motivational? If not, maybe time to change how you talk to yourself
  • Smile; even if you don't feel like it, in a stressful situation
  • Make the decision to find even 5 minutes every day to think and do NOTHING!
  • Read an article on Mindfulness
  • Have a look online for a YouTube video on Mindfulness
  • Put on a song which makes you smile
  • Be kind to yourself
  • Be kind to someone else
  • Find a drawer; or if you want to spend more time, a cupboard you have been putting off clearing out, and do something about it
  • Decide if things are getting on top of you and you need to talk to someone, to find someone to talk to. If you don't know who, start with Breathing Space 0800 83 85 87 or your local mental health helpline. There are people who care
  • Think about other things you enjoy and find ways to bring them into your day
  • Remember, men have feelings too, don't bottle up your stressors, share them with someone who can help you move past this challenging time. Recent research suggests that men may be more vulnerable to depression caused by stressful events, so please if something is bothering you find support to do something about it.

Stress is not good for us when it starts to affect our health, well-being, relationships and choices. Learning to manage stress can be fun. During mental health awareness week, and every week, think about what you call fun and find a way to make it part of your day. Sometimes we need to think about bigger changes over time.

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