There are times when i start to feel that stress is just a compulsory part of everyday life. Something we wish would bugger off but put up with all the same. I think i can be as bold to say that it affects us all daily? There are just different degrees of severity dependent on our situation & the moment in time. We stress about the day-to-day issues life spits out at us like money, work & general domestics but these are out weighed by health issues of us & our loved ones both physical & mental. But then there are situations, experiences that leave footprints in our minds and leave us with delayed stress and it take a lot to move forwards. To be frank i think if i tried to categorize all the different ways & things that can promote stress i would need to publish a self-help book rather than a blog post, but i think i have given some varied examples so i’ll stop there.
I think, at this point i should state that apart from basic first aid and spending a few of my younger years as a pool lifeguard & St Johns Ambulance volunteer i have no official medical training, so everything i am writing about is drawn from my own personal experiences & (unless stated) personal observations of stress, anxiety & mental health. If you are worried about stress, anxiety or mental health it’s always best to speak to your GP. They’ll listen & point you to ways you can help yourself, they did for me at any rate.
The dictionary definition for ‘Stress’ (as a noun, in this context) is; “A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.” It is worry, it is anxiety, it is nervousness & strain. It is a state of mind that is niggling & uncomfortable & one we should all keep an eye on. I understand we are not all as prone to stress as the next person & i have even known people to boast ‘i don’t get stressed’ which i am partly very sceptical about and also partly impressed by.
I think your first battle, with any mental health issue identifying you are experiencing it. Then admitting it to yourself & asking others for support (this is sometimes the hardest part). There maybe some of you who are thinking this is very obvious and there is no way you wouldn’t realise something like that. I would say remember we are all different, we all handle things like this differently. There maybe times when your mind is getting so engulfed by a stress bubble it is not always easy or simple to identify the symptoms because the direct everyday causes are taking up all your focus. For me, its a times when it all stops, like in the shower, waiting in line at the store or walking to my next meeting or appointment. I tend to refer to it as ‘down time’. I stop and let my mind just daydream, after a few moments i start to feel calmer, relaxed & i realised just how high my stress levels had got. So, it is important to kick-back and relax daily. In fact i would go as far as saying it is certainly a massive part of healthy living because your mental health is just as important as your physical health & if you neglect one it will always affect the other.
I thought i would give some of my own tried and tested tips to help;
LilBlu’s Ways to promote wellbeing
- Eat Well
Keeping a balanced diet really helps, so get a little of everything that is important, this includes carbs as well as Fruit & Veg. Also i try not to eat once i am full or just before i go to bed and drink plenty of plain old boring water.
2. Treat yourself
Whatever it is for you, treat yourself but don’t over indulge. For me once a week (usually a Friday) i have an ‘indulgence day’ and i treat myself to some chocolate goodness. I think sometimes quitting something you enjoy cold Turkey can really effect you, more than you would realise so, for me a little treat once a week is a good way to keep smiling.
3. Go outside
Cabin fever is never a good thing and getting out , especially first thing is a great way to detox your mind. Fresh air, before the hussel and bussel of the busy day starts. Just the birds and the trees. It really does dust of the cobwebs.
I swear by this and i often say that Zumba saved my life. When i was at my lowest point ever it go me out the house, it got me socializing, it got me fit, it also gave me a way to physically fight the stress. No matter how bad things got, i always made myself do excercise & i would always feel better for it.
5. Talk to people
People will always surprise you. By just being open about your issues, people know you are struggling and 9 times out of ten will do what they can to help. Remember, people won’t help if they don’t know so be open & honest and be grateful for their efforts, no matter how small.
6. Take a break
So very important. especially if you have deadlines and are cramming everything in. Take breaks throughout the day & take yourself away from your desk, revision or whatever it is your working on. Physically go to another place & do something unrelated. You will find your head will be a lot less prone to error and relaxed. If you have had a busy few months and notice you a getting stressed take a whole day out, no matter what. Book a day off and spend time doing something stress free. When you return you will find things easier and clearer than before.
7. Me time
Do something that makes you happy. This is where the LushBombs come into it. Kicking back and finding time to daydream.
Oh, i love my lists. It’s a way of taking control & helping yourself. I always start with a list of what i want to change in my life, then i write a second list of where i would like to be. My next list is the first step i will take to get myself from list one to list two.When the first steps are complete write the next step until you have achieved your goals. It really helps to see your progress & how far you have come.
9. Helping Others
With my project LilBlu’sThankyou i do what i can to promote kindness and celebrate those who help others, so i am constantly looking for examples of people who are helping others. One thing that comes up a lot are people who help others as a means to improve their own life. This is totally missing the point. Yes helping others does help you but this will only work if you are doing it for sake of goodness & because you truly want to help. If you are doing it for your own self-gratification, i do not think you will find any benefits in it. The way it helps you is by knowing someones better for because you did something to make a difference. It should not be selfish. So pay compliments, respond to social media posts, be kind, be giving, offer your time and attention and most importantly really listen to them.
10. Hug someone
Obviously only hug someone if they want to hug you back. but sometimes all you need is a hug from the right person at the right time to make it all go away.
As i said before these are just my tips, it is not for everyone. There are many resources online you can search. I tend to stick to trusted websites such as the charities mind & Anxiety UK. The NHS website also has a few good ‘stress buster’ tips of their own that may help (link below) It is certainly worth a look.
I hope you have found this post helpful or informative. Lush as a company have amazing ethics and they really go out of their way to help people. This is what has drawn me to them and want to review their products. So i am going to take a leaf out of their book and extend my own project LilBlu’s Thankyou by including posts such as this to raise awareness for stress and anxiety which is something that affects a number of people i love and live with.
Stay happy & healthy