1. Identify your triggers
There are lots of things that can trigger stress. Think about what the triggers for your stress might be. If you have a clearer idea of what your triggers are, you can start to identify where you can and can’t make changes.
Here are some common triggers for stress: deadlines at work, starting a new job, financial worries, taking on too many commitments, not having enough time to yourself and relationship problems.
2. Allow yourself time to relax
As part of an effective schedule, you should aim to block time out for relaxation. Sometimes, we get stuck in a pattern of thought that tells us that we need to keep going and that having a break will give us less time to get those ‘important’ things done. But having time to relax is of central importance in maintaining a positive state of psychological and physical wellbeing. Often, we can find that we are more productive overall if we allow ourselves to have periods of relaxation. Visit our shop, where you can buy our scented candle, made from 100% natural wax and the pure essential oils of lavender, bergamot and geranium to help you to unwind and relax.
You might find that there is something causing you stress which needs problem-solving. It might be something you have been putting off tackling for a while. Maybe you just don’t know where to start? Or the hurdle seems too big to overcome? Common problems can be financial concerns, work-related issues or trouble managing childcare.
The first step is to identify clearly and precisely what the problem is. Then you can start to generate possible solutions – think of as many as you can, even if they seem silly. Choose your top 3 possible solutions and start to write down the pros and cons of each. Take your best solution forward and try to plan exactly how break to it down into realistic steps that you can implement. When will you carry out these steps? Do you need help or additional resources? Are these steps achievable? If your chosen solution doesn’t work, evaluate why this was. You can go back and choose a different solution, or adapt the one you already have.
4. Try and accept things you can’t change
You may be focused on aspects of your life that you can’t change. That job you didn’t get, the meal you went out for that you couldn’t really afford or the invitation to a party that you wish you had accepted. Playing over these things in our mind can make us feel stressed and less able to concentrate on the things we can change. Accepting that your interview answers could have been better and starting to plan time to do more research ready for your next one, can help you to feel like you’re moving forward in a positive way, rather than dwelling on the past.
5. Organise your time
Stress can make us feel less able to cope, and sometimes we just keep plodding on without considering whether there is a better way we can organise our time to help us to feel less stressed.
Start by writing down all the things that you need to do in your week. Rate their importance/urgency on a scale of 1-3. Think about how you can realistically plan this into your schedule. Looking at this in advance will stop you getting to Thursday night and realising that you haven’t got time to get everything finished. We’ve all experienced that last minute panic.
Could you break down tasks to make them more manageable? Maybe you find that it’s not realistic to fit all these things into a week. How can you problem-solve this? Can you seek help from others?
When you complete a task, try and reward yourself and acknowledge this achievement.
6. Be more mindful
Stress often causes to focus more on the past or future. ‘I shouldn’t have done that…I must do this…what will happen if I do this…what will happen if I don’t do this…’
We can easily lose sight of the present moment. How often do you speak with someone and really listen to everything they are saying? Notice the expression on their face? Notice the taste and texture of the food you are eating? Notice the fragrance of the flowers in the park?
Take a mindful walk. Try and focus on your senses. What can you hear? Smell? Feel? See? Try and notice things you haven’t done before. Bringing ourselves back to the present moment can be a useful aid in managing stress.
7. Try and find a balance
We know we need to have a balance in our life but this can easily slip, without us really taking steps to address it. That extra hour at work, that third weekend you haven’t taken your child swimming, that meet-up with your friends that you’ve made another excuse not to attend.
Try and work out how much time and effort you are putting into each part of your life: work, family-life, friendships and hobbies and interests. Is this working for you and others around you? How can you start to redress this balance if you need to?
8. Be more active
Increasing your level of physical activity can be a great stress-buster. Don’t worry- you don’t need to start training for the next big marathon! A brisk walk is still exercise, you don’t have to be doing a sport or going to the gym. Think about what you might enjoy doing as it is these things that you are more likely to continue doing. Build exercise up gradually and try to do it regularly.
9. Connect with others
When we feel stressed, sometimes the last thing we feel like doing is talking to other people. We might start to see less of our friends and family and start to feel more isolated. Try and think of ways you can connect more with others. Try and maintain a regular form of contact, which could be through a weekly meet-up arrangement or a club or activity.
10. Recognise your achievements
It’s easy to focus on things we are not happy with or things that or are not going as we would like. We can often fail to recognise achievements, however big or small, which can give us another perspective or make us feel good. Try and recognise at least one positive achievement each day.
Mind. (2015). How to manage stress.
© 2015 Zuna Naturals Ltd.