One of the biggest things we face on a daily basis is stress, and after the last year we have had there hasn’t been much else in our lives lately.
Mental health and stress relieving has become such a hot topic due to our current circumstances, so I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt and tried that work for me.
Meditation and breathing exercises
This is a pretty usual one. Mindfulness and meditation practices center you and brings your focus back to the breath and pushes your thoughts to the side. I have found that in my worse states, up to and including panic attacks, this is my favourite. It brings me down really quickly. There are some fantastic apps for guided meditation and mindfulness, Calm, Headspace etc. I personally use Calm because there are different options to use, guided meditations, music and even helpful stories for sleep.
Exercise or take a walk
This may seem like an obvious one so I won’t stay long on it. Exercise has an unbelieveable effect on your stress levels. The release of endorphins that occurs during exercise reduces the stress hormone, cortisol, and raises what I like to call the happy hormone, serotonin. Vitamin D has a marked effect on stress levels, so getting out into the sunshine, the highest natural form of vitamin D, will lift your mood and reduce your stress levels.
When I was in a job that caused unbareable amounts of stress in my life and it felt like I couldn’t get away from it, I was so grateful for my creative escapes. I crochet!! This requires concentration and has a profound impact on my stress levels, and the best part is I have a gorgeous creation at the end of it.
Eat a snack
Who knew that having a snack is a de-stresser! Haha, I know what you are thinking, let’s reach for the chocolate bar… hmmm… That will be lovely but short lived unfortuantely. I was doing some research and came across a Dr Drew Ramsey, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, who said
“The connection between the gut and brain is huge — called the ‘gut-brain axis’ — and lots of interesting data supports the idea that the gut is a major mediator of the stress response”
There you go, even the scientists have said we can have a snack to hekp with de-stressing, but keep it healthy and simple.
These are just some fabulous techniques that have helped me and I am finding more everyday. I will do a follow up post later on with some more techniques that I have found helpful. Some of them will surprise you and make you smile.
Until next time…