In fact, a recent study conducted by the Mental Health Foundation has revealed that more than eight in ten of UK adults have experienced stress because of the pandemic.
There are numerous steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of being affected by stress and many of them are actually things that we already know. Making any positive move to lower your stress level will put you back in control of your life and start to reduce stress straight away.
Here are some examples of simple steps you can take to help minimise or avoid stress and help you stay relaxed and in control:
Prioritising and limiting your tasks for the day is a great way to start. By creating a to-do list and crossing items off as you go, you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment which will help reduce stress.
Plan ahead and make provisions for possible difficulties
Planning and feeling prepared for the day will help you deal with situations you may encounter. Considering different strategies for situations can also help you become more resilient when things don’t always go to plan.
Allow yourself to be wrong sometimes
It’s ok to be wrong sometimes. Learning from your mistakes is all part of being human and gives you the life experience you need to affect outcomes in the future.
Set realistic goals
Keeping your goals achievable and avoiding setting yourself unrealistic goals is crucial in reducing stress. Start off with small and achievable goals and steadily increase them. If you feel that your workload is just too overwhelming then speak to a colleague or your line manager and explain your situation to them, as they should want to help you manage your workload.
Avoid replaying difficult situations in your mind
Overthinking leads to stress, so try to take your mind off what you’re thinking about and get busy with activities that keep your mind clear, such as mindfulness, going for a walk, exercise, yoga or a hobby that you enjoy.
Recognise when you’re fatigued and take a break
Recognising fatigue and exhaustion is very important to your wellbeing. Take a day off to relax or do something you enjoy that you don’t get to do often. Taking time off social media and spend time with yourself, it’s also a great way to keep yourself distracted from the news.
Try to set aside 10 minutes each day to do something you want
This could be at the end of the day. Read a book, go for a walk alone, dance in front of the mirror. Do whatever it is that you enjoy and makes you feel calm.
Try to introduce an element of fun physical activity into your life
Doing fun activities is a great way of reducing stress and improving your wellbeing. Try and do something that has physical activity, for example, dancing, cleaning or going for a walk with your family or a friend.
Stretch your body to ease tension
Stretching is a great way to break tension. You can do this at your desk or when you get up in the morning to better start your day or before bed for a better night’s sleep.
Use slow, measured breathing techniques to relax and remain calm
If you’re feeling extremely stressed, a great way of relieving it in the moment is by taking deep, controlled breaths. This will help you take your mind off the situation you are in and relax your body. Through the mProve YOURSELF app, Medicash policyholders can access guided meditations and breathing exercises.
Have a warm bath for relaxation
For some, baths are a great way of relaxing. So, if you have the chance, take a relaxing bath. Light some candles and set the environment with some relaxing music. Take this time to be mindful or practice gratitude.
Look for situations that will bring some laughter or pleasure into your life
Laughter is a great way of relieving stress. Chat with someone that makes you laugh, watch your favourite TV comedy, or listen to a comedy podcast.
Make sure you can have enough sleep and avoid stimulating activities before bed.
Stress impacts your sleep, and sleep is very important for your wellbeing. If stress is causing you difficulties in your sleep, try a sleep meditation or some sleep sounds before bed. This will help you relax and set yourself straight to a better night’s sleep.
So here you go, these tips should help you reduce stress during these stressful times. If you think you need to speak to someone, Medicash plans include a 24/7 Health & Stress helpline where you can talk to a qualified counsellor. Check your benefit table for more details or access it via the Medicash app.