National Stress Awareness Day 2017 – 8 top tips to help you stay calm

National Stress Awareness Day 2017 – 8 top tips to help you stay calm

Did you know the first Wednesday in November each year is National Stress Awareness Day?

We all know what it’s like to feel stressed – being under pressure is a normal part of life. But becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.

National Stress Awareness Day is a great opportunity to take a moment to think about our wellbeing and find advice or support on managing stress.

You can join the conversation about stress on November 1 by tweeting us @NorthStaffsMind and using #NationalStressAwarenessDay17 on social media.

Signs of stress

Stress can include physical signs, like tiredness, headaches, or an upset stomach. This could be because when we feel stressed emotionally, our bodies release hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. Other signs include panic attacks, blurred eyesight, problems getting to sleep, and grinding your teeth.

Someone experiencing stress may feel over-burdened, anxious, depressed or unable to enjoy themselves. They may find themselves snapping at people, avoiding situations, biting their nails, eating too much or too little, drinking or smoking more than usual, crying, or feeling restless.

So how do you deal with stress and feeling under pressure?

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We have 8 top stress-busting tips to help you get started…

  1. Organise your time – Are you a morning person or do you think clearer after lunch? Identify your best time of day, and do the important tasks that need the most energy and concentration at that time.
  2. Make checklists – Ah the checklist; so small, so simple, so effective. Write down the things you have to do, arrange them in order of importance, and try to focus on the most urgent first. If your tasks are work related, ask a manager or colleague to help you prioritise. You may be able to push back some tasks until you’re feeling less stressed.
  3. Vary your activities – Balance interesting tasks with more mundane ones, and stressful tasks with those you find easier or can do more calmly. You can also reward yourself for doing difficult tasks by doing something you enjoy once you’ve achieved them.
  4. Take a second to think about your stress-related thoughts – It’s not easy, but accepting that there are some things happening to you that you probably can’t do anything about will help you focus your time and energy more productively. Think about what is stressing you out and ask yourself if it’s as earth-shatteringly important as you’ve built it up to be.
  5. Speak up – It’s OK to say no. Try to be assertive in communicating with others. If people are making unreasonable or unrealistic demands on you, be prepared to tell them how you feel and say no.
  6. Do something that relaxes you – Have a luxurious bath, listen to music, read a book, walk the dog, or see a film.
  7. Forgive yourself –When you don’t achieve something you hoped for, just remember that everyone makes mistakes, and no one is perfect.
  8. Talk – If you’re worried about something, talk to your friends, work colleagues, family or partner. You will probably discover they are stressed about things in their lives and together you will no doubt come up with a solution.