How are you doing? Probably a silly question, right? I hope you are doing well in this crazy world right now but if you are not, I hope to give you some ideas and tips on how to deal with stress and anxiety that you might be suffering from. Even before this pandemic hit, there was so much stress and anxiety in the world, job stress, parenting stress, illness etc. So, not only do we have to deal with these issues, we have to deal with the pandemic too.
When I started studying stress management over 20 years ago, the top three stressors then, were a death in the family, moving home and moving countries. Well, I encountered all three in the space of a year, so yeah I was stressed!
But what to do when we are stressed?
- Relax: I usually advise people to relax in whatever way they can and that can range from just sitting with a cup of tea or coffee in your hand and just taking a minute to yourself.
- Exercise: Something else I ask people to do is exercise, that doesn’t mean having to go to the gym, even just taking a 30 minute walk at least 3 times a week. When you take that walk though, take time to actually see what is going on around you, pay attention to the plants or flowers, the trees and even the wildlife. My favourite though, is dance like no one is watching, just crank up the music and dance!
- Escapism: But if dancing is not your thing, how about escapism and by that I mean reading a book or watching a movie, escape into the book or movie and forget about your troubles for a little while at least.
If you want to try and get a hold on what is stressing you out, try a stress diary. Write down what happened to you, how it made you feel and if you did anything to alleviate the situation. By keeping a record of stressors, you might be able to avoid them in future, but you can also learn from them by coming up with ideas on how you could have better dealt with them.
It’s also good to reach out to people, friends, family or even a professional. Don’t bottle it up, it’s not healthy for you or the people around you. And if you know someone who is going through a hard time right now – be kind.