Stress is a normal part of life and we all experience it to some degree, but sometimes lots of things can come along at once and can feel really overwhelming. So if you feel like you’re struggling, check out these ideas for helping you manage during times of stress.
Obviously, if you’re not breathing already then we might have a problem! However, this is about ‘mindful’ breathing, meaning taking notice of the breath. Ideally, you want to find yourself a quiet space, away from any distractions. Sit down on a chair or cross-legged on the floor, rest your hands on your lap, close your eyes and take some deep breaths. Really slow your breathing down.
Pay attention to the breath. If you have other thoughts come into your mind then try not to dwell on them, just let them go and return your focus to your breathing.
A great app for this is the ‘Headspace’ app which you can download onto your ‘phone. You get 10 free 10-minute sessions and they’re really good for helping to focus and calm the mind.
Write a ‘To do’ list
If you’re trying to juggle lots of things and they’re all in your head this is bound to stress you out; you can’t be expected to remember everything! So, write down all the things you’ve got to do, and for each task break it down into smaller steps so that they don’t feel so overwhelming. Prioritise each task so that you know which ones need doing sooner rather than later. When you’ve completed each step and/or each task make sure you cross it off the list so that you can see what you’ve accomplished!
Make time for yourself
In amongst all this rushing about it’s important to make time for yourself. Go out with friends and/or family, read a good book, watch a film, have a relaxing bath, go for a walk, exercise. Do anything that you enjoy and that doesn’t feel like a chore. Giving yourself some down-time will help get you ready to get back on with all the things on your list!
Talk to someone
Talking about how you feel is another good way to ease stressful emotions. Actually, you’d be surprised at how many other people will probably feel the same, or similar, to you. Being able to relate to someone else can help reassure you that you’re not alone. Other people can be a good source of moral support during difficult times.
Remember, if you’re constantly on the go you may end up burning yourself out and then you’re less likely to get everything done anyway. Giving yourself some down-time will not only help you feel good but will also help you deal more effectively with life’s stressors!