Stress; it’s an inevitable part of our lives, but being constantly stressed out isn’t. When you let stress take over, it throws you off track (as if 2020 wasn’t enough). The more stressed we are, the more vulnerable we could be. So although stress might be normal, it shouldn’t control your life.
The last 12 months have been heavy, there’s no doubting that. Lately, I’ve been feeling guilty whenever I’m stressed because I’m fortunate to not only have my job, but to also work from home during this pandemic. To help eliminate the guilt, I’ve been trying to limit the stress, but what does one do when feeling stressed? How can we prevent stress from taking over out lives? Well, try the following ideas!
- Meditate : Sparing a moment to meditation can bring forth a change in your day. Practicing mindfulness can increase your wellbeing and quality of life. If you don’t know where to start, download a meditation app like Headspace or Calm and try a guided meditation. There are so many benefits to just a few minutes of de-stressing!
- Get creative: I have used essential oils and diffusers for about five years now. Whenever I need to take a moment away, I have an oil blend on hand to help. You can buy oil blends, or you can create your own. The best types of oils for stress relief include; lavender, bergamot, mandarin, chamomile, ylang ylang, frankincense, and vanilla. You can mix a few drops into the water of your diffuser, or apply it to your skin (check if your essential oils can be applied directly to skin. If not, they must be mixed within a carrier oil. Always do a patch test first too). I like to put a little bit on my wrists and on my hands, rub them together, and cup them up to my face. I breathe in deeply a few times, and it gives an immediate release!
- Get moving: Literally. Relieve your body from unnecessary tension by doing some stretching, or even better, go for a walk outside! Talking my dog, Lottie, out for a walk along the beach is what helps me most. Just being outside I already feel the difference.
- Alternate your perspective: Usually when we are stressed about something, fear is involved. Asses your feelings and ask yourself “Is this something I should actually be stressing about?”. Understanding the perspective you’re viewing things from could help you understand better how to work things out.
- Honour self-care: Between work, family, and everything that is going on in the world right now, we often don’t spend time on ourselves. I know that when it came to myself, I can often view self-care as a luxury. But something positive 2020 did bring, was the realisation that self-care is not selfish, nor does it sacrifice the time you need to spend on other things. Whether it’s taking 10 minutes to yourself in the morning, painting your nails, not watching the news, you name it – give yourself the time you deserve.
- Exchange attitude for gratitude: Our attitude often has a profound effect on how we deal with a certain situation. It’s so important to practice gratitude right now more than ever, sometimes we don’t always appreciate what we have. The last year has given many of us the opportunity to look inside ourselves and focus on things we were maybe ignoring for a long time. Above all else, thank your body for keeping you protected and helping you through 2020 and into 2021. A little exercise that you should try is at the end of every day, try writing down something that went well or something you’re grateful for (I use my Happiness Planner). These things may seem minor now, but they’ll mean so much to you later.
At the end of the day, stress isn’t a problem solver, so why put yourself through it? It doesn’t help anything and only adds to the situation. Stress is not good for our health and it’s not going to change what we’re dealing with… and besides, most of the time it all works out.
I noticed that when I tackle stress head-on first thing in the morning, I can deal with any stressful situations that arise during the day a lot better. I highly suggest tapping into your feeling as soon as the day starts in order to be more productive and at peace.