While we cannot resolve something as serious as stress in one go, we can all start introducing little habits and routines in our lives that give us momentary breathing space and allow us to release some of the (often hidden) tension in our body; little stressbusters! We often don’t realise our bodies are tensing until a few hours later; we feel our neck or our back being stiff; you might even feel it in your jaw.
So take some time for yourself to offload!
- Have a boogie to your favourite tune; put on your headphones or turn up the volume and shake some of the tension away! Too wild? Why not listen to your favourite music or podcast.
- Go for a walk outside, breathe in some of the air, fill your lungs and get your body moving. Try and notice the little things that nature can give us… a tree waving in the wind, the flowers budding or leaves being rustled. Being outdoors is great for our mental and physical health.
- Try box breathing: inhale in through your nose for 4 seconds, hold the air in your lungs for 4 seconds, breathe out through your mouth for 4 seconds, pause for 4 seconds before inhaling (back to point 1)
- Start a journal and write down what you are grateful for today, this year or generally – the good thing about writing it down, is it also gives you something to look back on.
- Connect, we all need people, even if you don’t feel you are in particular need… perhaps turn it around and see it as checking in with a friend or family member; see how they are.
- Take a shower, or a nice soak in the bath, shut the door and leave your phone in another room; remember you need “you-time”!
- Flex and relax. Roll your shoulders, stretch your back, extend your fingers as far as you can, stand up and swing your hips or try and touch your toes.
- Take a moment to think of your happiest memory, why is that memory, and what makes it special?
- Switch off your phone or devices – why not read a book for 30 minutes.
- Help others… this is the amazing thing about spreading some kindness around, it ripples, and somehow kindness makes us feel better about ourselves too!
As we mention, none of this will magically “solve” or “cure” stress. The key to feeling overwhelmed or stressed is finding out the cause, and often it means making adjustments in our lives that allow for healthier habits, more time for ourselves with thought out priorities and a plan in place… with support; be that professionally or otherwise.