Whilst a small amount of stress can help some people to thrive, being overwhelmed by stress can negatively affect our mental health and wellbeing.
National Stress Awareness Day falls on Wednesday 2 November this year. It is a day to highlight the ways in which stress affects us and what we can do to manage our stress before it becomes a problem.
It’s important we take the time to manage our stress levels, so we asked our team at The Association how they like to de-stress and look after their mental health and wellbeing, and here is what they had to say:
Jyoti said “I practice yoga and find that it benefits aspects of myself that are often affected by stress: my mind, body and breathing. The areas of the body that tend to carry the most stress is the neck, shoulders and back, and there are yoga poses that can help loosen and relax these tight muscles. For the mind I try to stay in the moment and think about what my body and breath are doing. By keeping the breathing slow, deep, and rhythmic this helps to relax into a yoga pose. I have found that yoga has become a natural part of my weekly routine and helps me manage daily stress.”
Cheryl said “If I need something lowkey to destress or something I can do most days: baking/cooking, video games, reading or watching some comfort TV (usually with lots of blankets!), long hot showers or something that that looks like self-care like painting my nails! I find that getting out of the house and doing something active can be helpful for managing my stress as well: roller skating tends to be my personal go-to as I have access to few local skate parks that have lights on overnight. Having something in the diary to look forward to is helpful for me: it could be as simple as a duvet-day by myself or with a loved one, or as exciting as a theme park, but having something to look forward to is helpful in managing my stress levels.”
Greg said “To de-stress I need to do something physical – either going for a run or jumping on a bike or hiking up a mountain. But there’s also a few familiar podcasts that I always find soothing too, like The Ricky Gervais podcast – always a great distraction.”
Hayley said “Destressing for me looks like anything that is slower than the speed I normally operate at – taking my time to casually labour over the cooking of a meal, enjoying a long bath or sitting to do some cross stitching. As a new mum, I can also count time with my daughter at the end of a working day as a wonderful tonic for any accumulated stresses or pressure.”
Ella said, “I find going on walks in nature, daily meditation using an app on my phone and relaxing by watching a film or meeting up with friends helps me to de-stress.”
Dania said “To de-stress, I have to completely step away from what’s overwhelming me or putting me under pressure – for instance, if it’s a particular piece of work then I will just put it aside and concentrate on something else – a task that gets my creative juices flowing really helps me to focus my mind. I find this helps provide clarity when I do come back to the source of stress. I also take time most evenings to do some colouring which also helps me put my phone down, limiting my screen time!”