Do you know what the triggers are that cause you stress?
We’ve made some suggestions in previous blogs in this series, but they might not be what affects you. Identifying what they are can help you to anticipate them, when they will occur, and what tools you can equip yourself with to manage the stress that they may cause.
There are several areas to consider:
- Regular events or activities like hospital appointments or paying bills.
- Unique, one off events like moving house, or bereavement
- Something ongoing- that could be a difficult working environment for example.
Try figuring this out- you can do it by yourself or with a trusted friend. You may even surprise yourself when you realise just how much you have going on and how well you’re coping.
Does it feel like you’re always rushing around?
- Try not to do too much at once. Sometimes that answer is just no!
- Use lists. You can make these as complex or as simple as you like. You might function better with times of day or list in order of urgency. Or not. Whatever works best for you.
- Set achievable targets. Setting smaller targets that you can achieve will reduce the feeling of disappointment and frustration that you may feel if you can’t meet larger targets.
- Try not to do too much. Sometimes the answer is just no! If you take on too much you might feel overwhelmed and achieve less than if you manage your load.
- Take breaks and vary your activity. Spread your tasks between simple and complex tasks, take regular breaks to relax- even for a few minutes- and you might find that you’re actually more productive- and less stressed.
- Ask for help! If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, ask for help to complete your tasks.
Understand the causes of your stress
There will most likely be numerous things that cause you stress in your life that you can’t do anything about. But understanding what they are means that you will be able to take steps to deal with at least some, and understand others.
Sometime you just can’t change things
There are things that will happen in your life that you can’t do anything about. Understanding that will help you to direct your energies toward parts of your life that you can do something about. Taking the positive step of focussing your productivity and energy in those areas will help you to manage your stress levels
Taking positive steps to improve your resilience
- Resilience is something that we have to learn, and means the ability to not only bounce back from adverse events, but your ability to successfully navigate challenging situations. Improved resilience will help you to maintain your personal wellbeing too, and there are some simple steps to take.
- Practise your communications skills. Be assertive and straightforward with people. Learn to tell people when they are being unreasonable or have unreasonable expectations of you.
- Include periods of relaxation in your day. That could be time to read, walk the dog or take a bath. But make it your time.
- Work on your work/ life balance. NOt just work and life but be sure that you live a balanced life and have time for the things that you want to do. It’s all too easy to be taken over by work, or children, or something else.
- Exercise and sleep well. Physical exercise is proven to be good for mental health. Whether you like to swim, run, or simply take a long walk, get out in the fresh air and do something that makes you a bit sweaty. And the same goes for sleep. Be sure to get enough quality sleep.
- Be with your friends. Take the time, no matter how busy you are, to chat with your friends. It can be a great stress reliever to take yourself out of your life, even for a little while.
- Eat well. Ensure that you take the time to eat proper, nutritious meals that you enjoy. Breaking routines and snacking can mean that you aren’t getting the nutrients you need and that not only impacts physical health but mental health as well.
There are many organisations that can help you to manage stress, and most are publishing new guidance and support to help people navigate the immense challenges of the Coronavirus outbreak. Here are a few that we like and think will help;