News and Insights

Don’t fool yourself; combat stress

April 1, 2021

It is more important than ever to ensure you are looking after yourself, especially during such a challenging and uncertain time. Don’t underestimate small actions in your daily life and their impact. April, Stress Awareness Month, is a time of the year when healthcare professionals and healthcare communication agency experts join forces to raise public awareness of both the causes and cures for our modern stress epidemic. It is a good time to start being aware of your own stress.

The Mental Health Foundation offers, among others, these 4 tips to coping:

  1. “Talk about your feelings: Talking about your feelings isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s part of taking charge of your wellbeing and doing what you can to stay healthy.” After all, when someone is asking you how you feel, “fine” can’t always be the true answer
  2. Keep active: Experts say most people should do about 30 minutes’ exercise at least five days a week”
  3. “Eat well: A diet that’s good for your physical health is also good for your mental health”
  4. “Drink sensibly: Occasional light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people.”

Also, the Stress Management Society gives guidance like:

  1. Get enough sleep: to fall asleep, try to relax. If your thoughts don’t let you, write them down. Avoid anything stimulating and help your body to calm down e.g. with a bath
  2. “Listen to music: music can be used in many situations to help reduce stress and create a calming atmosphere”
  3. Rest: recognise you have limits; respect them
  4. Not always yes:where a ‘no’ is the appropriate response, say it without guilt”
  5. Manage your time: prioritise and create time buffers
  6. “Breathe: taking a few deep breaths allows more oxygen to reach the brain, helping you become calm and restore concentration and focus.”

If you want to dive deeper into this topic, have a look at the suggested reading list of this non-profit organisation. I personally enjoyed reading the book, “Why we sleep: The new science of sleep and dreams”. I also stopped drinking coffee after 3pm as I now know the amazing impact of healthy sleep and what I can do to more readily achieve it. You can also enjoy the free stress relief colouring book and calm down without electronic devices.

If you really want a change in your life, participate in No Panic’s or the Stress Management Society’s 30 Day Challenge. This will maximise your chances of turning useful knowledge and techniques into positive behavioural change as it takes 30 days to turn actions into habits. You can start this challenge every April or whenever you are highly motivated to become a healthier and happier version of yourself and, in the Society’s words, “regain connectivity, certainty and control.”

TAGS: Health

POSTED BY: Kristina Gerneth

Kristina Gerneth