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Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Dealing with Stress

An old friend of mine gave some good advice lately. It went a little something like this...'I think it's important to every so often remind yourself how fortunate you are to be alive. From the very beginning of life you had to fight to get to this world and chance (or is it?) has picked you. That means you're not only special but you must be here for a reason. Never forget that.'

Add to that the fact that my stress levels have been quite frankly through the roof lately (mainly due to things going on at work and being in a very uncertain job position) and I thought now would be the perfect time to talk about how I deal with stress. It's something we all deal with at various times in our lives and if we don't know how to deal with it, it can get out of control. I don't think there's a miracle cure. Nothing will completely stop stress other than  removing the thing causing it from your life, which sometimes isn't possible. However, these are just a few little things I do that help me to feel better:

1) Think about what you have to be grateful for. It doesn't make the stresses of life any less irritating sometimes but I find it helps me get things in proportion if I remind myself that I have the important things in life: people around me who love me, a home and enough money to pay the bills and eat properly. For many people in the world, those things are luxuries yet it is easy to take them for granted. I also have my health and am fortunate enough to be alive. Even just being alive is something to be grateful for. The above quote from my friend, which came just at the right time when I was having a particularly bad day, pretty much sums this up really and also inspired me to write this post

2) Give someone you love a hug. It might sound really simple, but sometimes a hug from my husband or mum just makes me feel so much better. The stress just seems to melt away.

3) Spend quality time with someone you love. This can be anyone in your family, your husband/ boyfriend/ wife/ girlfriend or just a good friend. Making time to sit down with someone and have a cup of tea and a good old chat really releases tension for me. Sometimes getting things off your chest is good for you.

4) Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins that are the 'happy chemicals' in our brains. This can be as gentle or as strenuous as you like. Sometimes I just like to go for a walk and get some fresh air if I'm feeling stressed and I come back home feeling refreshed. I also think blasting your favourite song and having a dance around the house works wonders!

5) Write it down. If you have trouble sleeping because your brain can't switch off, which sometimes happens to me, try writing things down before you go to sleep. Writing down how you feel to get it off your chest can make you feel a bit more relaxed. If you are someone who has real trouble sleeping then keeping a pen and paper on your bedside table might be a good plan.

6) What's the worst that can happen...if you're in a 'what if...' situation, you might well be worrying about something that's not even going to happen (I'm very guilty of doing this). However, even if something does go wrong, how bad is is actually going to be? For example, people stress over school exams. Yes they are important, but if on the off chance you fail, it's not the end of the world now, is it? Life carries on and you can get back up and try again.

7) Get enough sleep. If you're short of sleep, you're not going to be in the best of moods to start with so if something is stressing you out and adding to it, you're just adding to the problem. It's amazing how much better an early night and a good night's sleep can make me feel. I like to take a nice bubble bath beforehand to relax to ensure I sleep through.

Is there anything in particular that you

 like to do when you're feeling stressed?

Em x