Feeling stressed is perfectly normal. It is one of the ways our body responds to pressure and threat, and can help us handle all aspects of life, like work and home. Too much though, and it begins to impact us negatively and the results can be felt both mentally and physically.
During these challenging times, most of us will feel more stressed than normal. The constant stream of bad news is not going to help anyone’s mood, the idea of staying in and chilling to help the country sounds so easy, until it is put into practice and we begin to feel cut off from friends and family.
If stress is affecting your day to day, here are some tips to help you manage it and feel better. Never be afraid to seek help if you need it.
Go easy on yourself
This is an extraordinary situation. It is ok not to be ok. Many of us will never have experienced anything like this before so go easy on yourself. You might not be as productive, you might not be as motivated, it’s ok.
Take some time to check in with yourself. Sit or lay still for a short time and focus on your mind and body. How are you feeling? Where are you holding tension? Checking in will allow you to acknowledge what you are experiencing so you can focus on feeling better.
Look for the good
Instead of scrolling through constant updates from the news, look for feel good stories. The more you train yourself to look for the good, the more your brain will automatically start noticing them above the bad ones. A favourite of ours is Captain Tom, the 99 year old vetern who walked 100 laps of his garden before his 100th Birthday and raised millions of pounds for the NHS, his goal was £1,000.
As Tom says, ‘The sun will shine again and you’ll be ok’
Exercise releases endorphins which are the “feel good” hormones. Look for home workouts that you’ll enjoy. Try jumping around to a YouTube Zumba workout, join an online class so you’ll be working out with others, or going outside for a run in this lovely weather we’re experiencing
Working out will help lift your mood and feel healthier. Try to get moving at least once a day, factor it in to your schedule and it can help break up your day.
Tackle the challenge
Sometimes challenges can feel overwhelming and make us want to hide away. This leads to feelings of lack of control and further anxiety. Challenges can be anything from replying to a difficult email organising your personal finances or a tricky conversation l s. The best way to regain feelings of control is to tackle the problem. Break it down into smaller steps and face each one of them. Draft an email in a word document first, check a bank account or write down notes for a conversation. Take small steps to work towards solving the bigger problem.
Don’t be afraid to talk through challenges with people who might be able to help. Perhaps a colleague, manager or loved one will be able to support you so that these challenges don’t seem as scary.
Remember, you have already got through 100% of the tough times you’ve been through. You’ll get through this one too.
Michaela is the Head of Communications at StepLadder and is passionate about helping people be at their best!