I frequently talk about Anxiety on Scotch and Stilettos but not so often about Stress, and the two are very different. Anxiety is a clinical condition which requires Professional help and counselling, stress doesn’t. BUT that doesn’t mean that stress isn’t dangerous and a major problem in society today; with skyrocketing housing costs and wages that don’t allow young people to get n the property ladder, the unrelenting horror of the news, job cuts, Social Media and peer pressures and constant popularity contests, it can be hard to feel calm and relaxed. Take it from someone who knows, stress and anxiety cause incredible physical health issues, from migraines to nausea to full blown IBS. So how do we combat stress in frightening and stressful times? Here are a few ways that I’ve found can help you to feel more centered when you’re feeling stressed.
- Switch off the news. This is a tip from my Counselor, actually. It was a few years ago and I was terrified of the news, of getting hurt outside, the safety of loved ones and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She told me to unfollow all the news channels on Twitter and Facebook, stop watching the news at home (because they’re on a 30 minute cycle and once they’ve gone through all the stories they just go back to the start again.) don’t read the newspaper at work. The unrelenting horror of our World comes at us from everywhere now, social media, newspapers, radio, TV, apps. It’s bound to make you feel stressed out but you can’t dwell on it and let it swim around in your head. Turn off the news and watch something you find funny instead.
- Go play with your pet. Studies show that playing with pets can instantly de-stress you. There’s a reason that dogs are often therapy animals. Playing with pets can increase your body’s production of oxytocin, the stress-relieving hormone while slowing the body’s production of cortisol (stress hormone). Also remember those studies that show people can stop a bad day in its tracks by watching a cute animal video on YouTube…. my favourite is kittens 🙂
- Catch some sunshine! It’s easy to feel stressed all the time when you’re not getting any Vitamin-D! So on those sunny days, leave your devices at home, switch off your phone and go for a hike or for a walk by the Ocean, just get outside and in to that warm sunshine!
- Get your Friends together and have a Hygge evening! Hygge isn’t reserved for any one season, it’s simply the feeling of being cozy and content at home with loved ones and Friends. So order some pizza, mix some Margaritas and rent Bridget Jones’ Baby with your girlfriends… or maybe have a games night: food, friends and fun, nothing’s going to de-stress you faster than playing Cards Against Humanity with your best mates!
- Accept that not everything has to be perfect and that you can’t control the World around you, you just have to take it one day at a time and live your life with kindness, love and tolerance. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have everything figured out by 20 or to have success by 28, it’s no wonder we’re all stressed out. Slow down, take a breather and enjoy the moments.
Have a Wonderful Monday Everyone, please remember to be kind and compassionate, we all need it.