National Stress Awareness Day

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Stress. Yuck. The pace of life and pressure that we, not only put on ourselves, but feel from employers, clients, family and even friends can be exhausting. Having suffered from stress in the past I'm now able to catch the warning signs, and have a few simple tips in my arsenal to help combat stress before it becomes too much.

The problem I had with stress was that it crept up on me, until one day I simply couldn't take anymore. It was the simplest thing that set me off and it wasn't a stressful thing at all, just one thing too much.

I've pinpointed that my stress largely comes from feeling out of control, when I feel like I don't have enough time. I find it frustrating. As a graphic designer I work to deadlines on a daily basis, I can cope with most situations and have been described by my old boss and 'unflappable', but I'm not immune to feeling under pressure.

When I start to get the anxious feeling that I associate with the beginnings of stress, I do one or all of the following;

Take a deep breath and simply take a moment.
Sometimes this is enough to quell the any anxious feelings until I have time to address them fully.

I write a to-do list.
This is so helpful to get an overview of what is essential and what can wait, I put it in order - most important at the top.

I get up and go for a walk, go outside and perhaps take a cup of tea with me.
Taking sometime away from the situation in order to regain composure and gather my thoughts allows me to return to the situation feeling calmer and ready to tackle things head on.

Shrug it off.
A huge tension releasing shoulder shrug can physically remove tension. It's particularly good if accompanied with a loud 'fuck it' (if circumstances allow). Should you ever see me running late and stuck in traffic, this is what I'll be doing.

Find a sleeping cat and wake it up by rubbing it's belly.
It's a simple pleasure but one that never fails to put a smile on my face, there is not much wrong with the world when in the presence of a purring cat.

Another useful tool in releasing physical tension, even if I can do nothing more than a few stretches at my desk.

As regularly and as healthily as possible. The first thing I do when stressed is stop eating due to loss of appetite and because I don't feel like I have the time. Silly and counterproductive - my body needs fuel!

Ask for help.
I still find this extremely difficult but a quick conversation to ask for more time or just to get someone else to cook dinner can help immensely  - one less thing to do, is one less thing to stress about.

Go for a run. 
This takes me away from the situation, gets my body moving and gets me to focus on something else.

Play some upbeat music and turn it up loud!
I do this at my desk if I can't get away and need some cheering up - who doesn't love a little desk dancin'?

Today is National Stress Awareness Day, do you feel stress? How do you cope with it?

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Part of #BEDN hosted by Elizabeth.

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  1. My tips are v similar to yours! It's hard though isn't it?!

    1. It certainly can be, the hardest part is putting yourself first and being kind to yourself.

  2. Dancing at your desk is a great stress reliever! Also singing at the top of your voice is a good one, but I tend to make sure I am on my own for that one!

    Janey x

    1. Yes, I forgot about that one - working at home means I can do that all the time :)
      Although at my old place of work we'd sometimes have a sing-a-long to Abba songs!

  3. Running, dancing, singing - and making up ridiculous songs, cups of tea and hugs. Great post!
    Claire xx

  4. Those are such amazing tips! I love the one about a cat

    1. I sometimes work with a cat sleeping in my lap, that's very calming too :)

  5. Great post and some very useful tips =)


    1. I'm glad you found them useful, they're all such simple things but quite effective


Thank you for taking the time to comment x


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