Stress Awareness Week

STRESS AWARENESS WEEK
7th – 11th November 2022

Stress Awareness week is an annual event which focuses on stress management and campaigning against the stigma associated with stress and mental health issues.

We all feel stressed from time to time. It helps us deal with life’s daily demands and can help us to stay motivated, focused, and able to meet challenges in the workplace. But when stress exceeds your ability to cope, it stops being helpful and starts causing damage to your mind and body – as well as to your job satisfaction.
While you can’t control everything in your work environment, you can take steps to reduce your overall stress levels and bolster your well-being on and off the job:

PRIORITISE YOUR HEALTH
Many people don’t realise the negative consequences stress and bad health are having on them until it’s too late. If you’re lacking energy or feeling worn out, consider putting your health first:
• Sleep and wake up earlier.
• Eat little and often.
• Relax your mind and take regular breaks.
• Drink more water.

GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
The importance of sleep for our health cannot be emphasised enough. Sleep is just as important as eating healthy and exercising for your overall well-being. 5 ways that sleep will improve your health:
• You will be ill less frequently.
• You will be more relaxed.
• You will improve your memory.
• You will be able to maintain your weight.
• You will be at a lower risk of heart disease or stroke.

PRACTICE DEEP BREATHING
Did you know that when we are stressed, our breathing changes? It becomes rapid and shallow.
Inhale slowly through your nose to the count of five. Hold the breath in your belly for 5-10 seconds. Count slowly to 8 as you exhale. Repeat this several times.

STAY HYDRATED
When we are feeling stressed or tired, we tend to reach for sugary snacks or drinks that have a short-term burst of energy. Unfortunately, this energy leads to a crash, leaving you feeling even more worn out. Instead, help boost your energy levels by drinking water.
• Water cleanses the body of toxins.
• Water boosts your energy.
• Water suppresses the appetite.
• Water speeds up your metabolism.


EAT FOR WELLBEING
There has always been a link between stress and nutrition. While we know there are many reasons behind stress, we also know that what we eat dictates how well our body functions.
• Do you eat regular meals and have a healthy balanced diet?
• Do you eat breakfast?
• Do you eat fresh, home-prepared meals more than ready meals?
• Do you eat five portions of veg a day?

GET MOVING
One of the ways you can control stress is to take part in physical activity. Get out and go for a run, go to a swimming pool, or sign up for any other kind of physical activity. Anything to get your body moving and control your stress level.

 

ADOPT A POSITIVE MINDSET
Our state of mind can have a significant impact on our physical state. Think of it as ‘mind over matter’.
 Try to face your stress logically and rationally. Take a few deep breaths and analyse the situation. Try to clear your mind of any chaotic thoughts and begin breaking down the steps you could take to fix the problem or situation you’re facing.
 Stand up straight. Bad posture can also hurt your emotional state. By standing upright or sitting straight with your spine erect your body is communicating to your mind that it needs to align its state.

MASTER YOUR TIME
Time management is an important stress-management technique.
Failure to manage your time will result in feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and a decline in your productivity and efficiency.
Time management helps you to reduce long-term stress by giving you direction when you have too much to do. Additionally, it gives you more control over where you’re going and makes you more efficient in your use of time.

PUT YOUR PHONE DOWN
In the UK alone, we are now so addicted to our smartphones that, on average, we check them every 12 minutes. The constant interruptions that technology can bring to our lives are inevitably starting to take a toll on our well-being. Think about taking a break from the screen:
Unplug for the day – If you can’t turn your phone off completely, try switching your wi-fi off for a day. Use the time to go old school, pick up a book, play a board game or
Get active – When you choose to get outdoors and do hands-on activities you choose to connect with your environment, your body, and your friends.
Have a phone-free dinner policy – There is nothing worse than sitting at the dinner table and everyone is on their phones, and no one is talking. Put the phones in a bowl before dinner and have a rule that they stay there until everyone has finished.

LEARN TO SAY NO
We’ve all been there; someone has asked us to do something that we want to decline, but we find ourselves saying yes and doing it anyway. By taking more things on, we are only harming ourselves. Where no is the appropriate response, it is important to learn to say it without guilt.
You are more likely to feel run down when you are over-committed and under too much stress.

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