In last week’s blog we grabbed our binoculars and went stress spotting, looking at the different ways stress affects us as individuals. If you missed our stress-spotter’s guide you can catch up here
This week we are going to take a look at what we can do to look after ourselves when we start to recognise that we are feeling stressed. What we must remember is that each of us will feel stress differently, and we will all need to address it in different ways. It is important to know what works for you, and to review your chosen methods further down the line to check they still work. It sounds obvious but if you try something and it doesn’t work for you don’t keep pursuing it just because it works for your friend/partner/someone you sat by once on a long train journey in 2010.
You can check out our stressbusters list below for some suggestions, but make sure you experiment and try different things until you know what works. Once you take action in a way that works for you and feel the impact of stress lessen, it will empower you to change more!
The OutdoorCureOnline Stressbuster’s Special
1) Play a game – this could be with friends, family or simply a game on your phone or computer that requires focus. Fully focusing your attention on something else distracts your mind away from your stressors and gives it a well needed break.
2) Improve your sleep quality. Whatever your stressors or stress levels are you will be more resilient if you are getting a better quality sleep. You can read or top tips on this here
3) Let the light in and get know the effects of this. Regulating your daylight and darkness exposure helps you to regulate your body clock, naturally protecting you against the effects of chronic stress. Make the time to get outside in the morning, or on your lunch break. Be inventive to make this happen.
4) Shake it out! Yes, exercise! Try to schedule it in for perhaps 3 times a week. When you exercise, your brain releases hormones that help you to cope better with stress. Don’t let this become another stressor – make it work for you. If you don’t enjoy a gruelling workout, find what works for you – even if it is a walk with a friend to catch up instead of meeting in the pub, or dancing round the house to music.
5) Do some colouring. We love a good colouring session at OutdoorCureOnline, but this suggestion always has a mixed response as it is not seen as an ‘adult’ pastime. Don’t be embarrassed to give it a go, or perceive it as a waste of time. It quietens your mind and has a relaxing, positive effect. We dare you. No… WE DOUBLE DARE YOU!
6) Plan laughter into your week – catch up with someone with whom laughter and fun happens naturally or, go to a comedy show/do something silly. Fun is one of the best stress relievers.
7) Don’t relax!* If you experience an acute stressful situation, it is sometimes better to focus your attention on something else entirely rather than relaxing. We know this sounds counter intuitive but actually relaxing immediately after a stressful situation can lead you to ruminate on the negative experience.
*totally enjoyed the controversy of writing this line 😊
We look forward to hearing what stressbusters worked for you!