8 Ways to De-Stress.

Hello again! I’ve been off the blog scene for a little while, but I’m back and hoping to stick around.

This past year was a hectic whirlwind, working full time and self teaching an A level, combined with lots of personal changes. Then to top it off, I just went travelling in New Zealand! It was an exhilarating escape from the 9 to 5 packed with adventure and meeting new people.

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This year I’ve made the goal to achieve more balance between work and rest and applying myself to different activities.
I’d directly suffered the effects of stress of last year and I do NOT want a repeat.
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Here are 8 tips I’ve picked up to take care of yourself when going though a stressful time:
  1. Assess the cause of your stress and Be Positive
    • Be self-aware of what you’re feeling and thinking. Acknowledge why you’re stressed.
    • And adjust your attitude towards it. Exchanging every negative thought to a positive one will make you feel more powerful towards addressing the problem and feeling more in control of it, instead of overwhelmed.
    • Learn to accept you can’t control everything and learn to just let it go.
  2. Have Me-Time
    • Whatever recharges you: a bath, a run, writing, a cup of tea, peace and quiet, reading, coffee with a friend, making and eating something tasty, get creative, whatever!
  3. Connect to others:
    • Open up to a compassionate friend. Off-load what’s dwelling on your mind and you will feel better for it. Once it’s out of your mouth and heard, it’s like your emotions feel validated and they settle down again and your head can step down a notch from emotional over drive.
    • Make new friends! New people will bring new outlooks in to your life.
  4. Take a holiday?
    • Get out of the city and in to nature. The fresh air, the brighter skies, even being by water all help to reset body rhythm and may help you feel calm and invigorated.
  5. Deep breathe
    • I had the best night’s sleep after doing the breathing technique from this mini yoga video before bed. And also, buy a memory foam pillow.
  6. Learn something new
    • Make time for hobbies and find new ones.
    • Sign up for something random. I’m going to a life drawing class later this month!
    • Youtube has tons of resources for a variety of topics*. It’s so good to stimulate your brain by focussing on something.
  7. Work Out
    • Research shows how exercise relieves stress and releases the happy hormones like dopamine and serotonin. Channel excess emotional energy in to boxing or lifting weights or run to clear your mind. It can give you focus and the physical act of making your body stronger will reflect in your mental state as you build perseverance and resilience.
  8. Help Others
    • I’ve started volunteering at my city’s food bank, preparing food parcels for people in need. It’s undeniably helpful to get out of your own head, and your own drama and personal life and help somebody else in need. It can put your own problems in to perspective. And if you can’t commit to something like that, try little acts of kindness or favours for colleagues and friends.

NB: for more serious mental health concerns, please get professional medical help. It’s their job to help you get well again.

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*Explanations of how things work in Science, History, Geography etc. Here, here and here.

Information on health, the health care system and which diets work. Here.

Science questions answered! Here.

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