I’m told April was stress awareness month but surely every month should be stress awareness month? So this word ‘stress’, what does this mean to you? It can mean many different things to each of us, such as tiredness, worry, anger, headaches, shaking, a racing heart.
Fortunately, there are many things that can be done quickly and easily to ease sensations of stress. It doesn’t need to involve vast life changing events, a marathon of new commitments or expenses.
Where possible, spend a little time, as regularly as you can, with yourself and by yourself, becoming aware of what your feelings of stress are, slowly working out when these feelings come and why. The next step is to give yourself what you feel you need just for you – noone else but you; it could be as simple as remembering to have the early night, giving yourself that extra sleep that deep down you know you need. It might be that stepping away from too much work or technology or noise is exactly that right thing for you today. It could also be that spending a little less time with a demanding or trickly person in your life is the one thing that will make a difference to you right now. Equally, it might be that keeping your exercise plans or quiet time is your biggest priority for now.
The list, of course, can go on and on because it’s entirely personal to each of us and only you will know what your own feelings of stress are, but if I was to compile 10 steps of daily anti stress self care these things would be my recommended steps –
• As soon as you get the physical or emotional ‘signs’ of stress, take a moment and acknowledge a need to slow down or step away
• Talking kindly to yourself as you would your best friend or grandparent
• Give yourself the best sleep and nourishment you can
• Maintain a routine of gentle exercise
• Aim to let quiet time or time for contemplation feature in your every day
• Remember a short, daily gratitude practice – a three finger gratitude practice
• If you feel things are building up, start writing or journaling a little each day
• Let nature touch you either by being outside in it or letting it in by opening a window or feeling a ray of sun on your skin
• Seek the company of trusted and loved companions
• Stay in the moment and breathe, inhale and exhale…repeat
I hope these steps are useful to you. Remember that even a few minutes is enough to make a considerable difference.
This article is written by Interiors by Georgie, an Interiors & Well-being Specialist and Mindfulness teacher in training.
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