Welcome to the chill zone…
It’s Mental Health Awareness week in the UK this week and this year they’re focusing on stress. The prevalence of stress in the western world is HUGE and it’s implications can be almost too hard to deal with.
While stress isn’t a mental health problem in itself, it can often lead to depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicide. It can also lead to physical health problems such as cardiovascular disease and joint and muscle problems.
It’s something that is so common for people to deal with on a daily basis so it’s extremely important that we look at ways to prevent it altogether and to also freely talk about coping mechanisms incase we ever do get struck down by it. After all, there is absolutely NO shame in struggling with mental health issues- we guarantee that almost everybody you know has dealt with it at some point or another.
According to a survey carried out by YouGov almost three quarters (74%) of people have at some point felt so stressed that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope.
However, there’s things you can do to instantly get some relief. Stress is exhausting and it can lead to bigger problems if not dealt with- that’s why we’ve compiled this list of 18 pieces of advice to make your life more bearable during these stressful times!
We hope these give you some relief- and please don’t forget to talk to somebody if you feel unable to cope. There’s ALWAYS people who will listen and give you a helping hand.
1) Use an app such as MyCalmBeat or Breethe to slow your breathing and calm your nerves.
This app forces you to focus on your breath, which will help clear your mind and drastically calm you down. Match your ins and outs to the lungs filling and emptying on the screen for instant calmness and relaxation.
2) Use two tennis balls to get rid of that annoying tension headache.
Hold them in your hands, put them behind your head, and lie on your back. Roll your head back and forth and up and down and enjoy. Ah, the sweet release.
3) Turn the music up and try out a 10-minute, three-song workout.
Sweat it out. Exercise is MAGIC for relieving stress and clearing your head. Try working out over 3 upbeat, high-tempo songs and get those endorphins whirling! You’ll leave on a natural high- we promise.
4) Treat yourself to a long shower with a soothing soundtrack
Treat yourself to a waterproof Bluetooth speaker that attaches to your shower curtain rod and search for a soothing playlist and relax. Put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door if you need to- just take some time to gather your thoughts and wash away that stress.
5) Alternatively, take a bath with a glass of wine and a good book.
There is nothing more relaxing than soaking in a hot bubble bath. You can also up your bath game even more by purchasing a bath tray and placing a large glass on wine on there and even your iPad so you can watch something funny (at your own risk of course- water does not mix well with Apple products unfortunately so be careful!).
6) Hang out in this restorative yoga pose for a bit
Seriously, try yoga- no matter how bad you think you may be at it. It works wonders!
7) Go for a run outside
Go somewhere pretty and scenic and run all of your troubles away. Don’t worry if your stamina isn’t up to scratch- there’s so many amazing apps you can download now to help you slowly build up your fitness. You’ll be running marathons before you know it!
8) Try this 2-minute meditation on self-love and acceptance.
You don’t have to tell anyone you do this- try it in secret and see if it works for you! Everybody needs some positive reinforcement from time to time…
9) Or this 4-minute meditation for better sleep.
Stress can prevent you from sleeping properly- and there’s nothing worse than tiredness on top of stress- it will drive you insane. Try meditation apps or YouTube videos in order to help you sleep!
10) This 10-minute meditation for overcoming obstacles and frustrations is also amazing;
“In this guided meditation, Deepak Chopra, M.D. helps us shift certain elements of our awareness so we can meet problems with a better sense of understanding and galvanize our abilities to overcome them.”
11) Find a mantra and repeat it to yourself until you can feel it
Yes you may find it cheesy, but it’s effective.
12) FaceTime a friend to catch up and say hi and see a smiling face.
If you’re too busy to meet up with friends and family for a while- make sure you still interact in some way or another. That’s what FaceTime is for! Use it to your advantage- a good laugh and gossip with your girlfriend’s is always good for the soul and they will listen to you and help you to rationalise whatever you’re feeling.
13) Use the Relax Melodies app or Sleep Sounds to help you relax and focus
Block out the hectic noise of a busy office environment and replace it with soothing raindrops or the sound of the ocean- it will help to make you feel relaxed and to focus on whatever task is in hand.
14) Create an ego-boost email folder or shoebox
Okay, so this might feel narcissistic, but it’s not. It’s therapeutic and important for making you feel valued.
“Anytime someone gives you a compliment via email (or in real life), put it in the folder, or write it on a notecard and stick it in the shoebox. Then when you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with life and things, read them all again. Instant ego boost.”
15) Get lost in a wonderful book that takes you to another world.
Sometimes we all need a bit of escapism. Screw work, get yourself to Hogwarts.
16) Spend a while cooking up something tasty and healthy
According to Buzzfeeds health experts “Cooking can be a very meditative and relaxing experience. And eating healthy will make you feel like you’re doing what you can to take care of yourself”.
17) Snuggle up with an adorable animal.
Is there anything that makes you feel more loved than a smiling dog jumping all over you because they’re just THAT excited and euphoric to see you? If you don’t have a dog to hand, you might look into renting one for a day (honestly, it’s a real thing). Look up Pawshake or Borrow My Doggy. You are welcome.
18) Have an orgasm or two
An instant stress reliever and will help you to drop off to sleep in no time!
Take note of these tips for whenever you’re feeling stressed and feel free to share this with friends and family!