As I’m sure you know all too well, many of us live highly stressful lifestyles with deadlines that seems unrealistic and workloads that become unbearable. Naturally this causes your stress and anxiety levels to increase and can have an impact on your happiness and overall mood.
When you’re not feeling yourself this can then have a negative impact on your productivity and energy levels at work, your interaction with co-workers and can eventually lead to decreased quality of time with friends and family.
We can’t avoid stress however we can implement tools and strategies to help us management the daily stresses that come our way and ensure we are looking after the health of our mind.
Other essentials for managing your stress include the basics that we sometimes forget about. Going for a nice walk, getting some fresh air, taking a step back from a stressful situation, actually having a proper lunch break, exercising and of course a good nights sleep.
Elements of Individual Stress
What triggers your stress?
From one person to the next it will vary but some of the common causes we see are financial pressures, frustration with line managers communication and time expectations at work, bullying at work, addictive habits with technology and an inability to switch off from the work day.
What are your responses?
Again this will vary from individual to individual but common responses can be defensiveness or reactiveness with communication, feeling very low in mood or maybe shutting off completely from other people.
How do you move out of that state?
This week is about developing your tool kit of ideas and actions that you know will get you out of a stressed state. Please see below for a number of ideas, which are effective and easy to do. Spend some time to reflect on what works for you and what new strategies you may be able implement.
Communicating your thoughts and feelings in an open and trusted environment is key. It seems simple but having the right people around you to discuss what’s on your mind is an effective strategy for getting thoughts out of your head.
Have a think now; do you have people at your work and in your home environment that you can have an open conversation with? If not, you should reach out to someone and ask them if they are happy to have a chat.
Prior to discovering the free App called Headspace I had always laughed at the thought of doing meditations or guided mindfulness however I now recommend this amazing app to many of my clients.
Headspace provides free ten-minute guided meditations to help relax your mind and teach you the skills to deal with a busy brain.
Download this app and give it a go before bed, it may be a foreign concept to you but guided meditation is becoming really popular in the health industry for good reason.
Lists and batching
In a world of smart phones, emails and big working hours it can seem that we don’t have enough time in the day and too many tasks that we don’t know where to start.
A simple but effective solution is lists and batching. Write down a list of all the tasks you need to complete (it’s great to get it out of the head and you know you wont forget anything). From here put your tasks into relevant categories and block out different time periods for each.
For example you may have five non-urgent emails to reply to, instead of reply to them at separate times throughout the day, set aside 30 minutes later in the day to reply to them all so you can focus on the more important tasks.
Writing a list at the end of the day of what needs to be achieved the following day is also another great strategies to ensure you don’t bring your work home with you.
Gratitude is another thing that is becoming very popular in the western world and is said to contribute to improvements in overall mental health and wellbeing. It is very easy to concentrate on the negative things in our life so it’s important that we hit pause and focus on the positives.
First thing in the morning or last thing at night, take 2 quiet minutes and list down (or just think about) two things that you are grateful for in your life. Give it a go, it’s surprising how well this can shift your mindset into a much happier positive place.
Others essentials for managing your stress include the basics that we sometimes forget about. Going for a nice walk, getting some fresh air, taking a step back from a stressful situation, actually having a proper lunch break, exercising and of course a good nights sleep.