I think we can all agree that finding a way to reduce our stress and anxiety would be a good thing.
Written by Deborah Hillier
In 2019 online health check company Forth surveyed British adults and found that 85% experienced stress regularly, with over a third stating that they felt stressed at least one full day every week. The number one trigger for this stress was money worries closely followed by work, health and lack of sleep. In order to tackle our stress levels we need to look at some fundamental changes in the way we live, of course since this survey was conducted things have changed dramatically but, we are all still worried about the same things even if the order may be slightly different.
So, let’s start with our morning, I know that for me getting started sets my frame of mind for the whole day. If this goes wrong, it can affect my entire day and my mood. Creating a self-care routine can help to reduce stress and anxiety, now I know some of you already are rolling your eyes and saying what does self-care mean?
Self-care isn’t just a buzz word! It is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. OK? If you would like to read more about self-care check out the NHS website here.
Back to the self-care routine, now if you’re like me, I’m not much of a morning person, to be absolutely perfectly honest with you I’m barely human! I am also mum to a 15-year-old who has to be forcibly removed from his pit every morning and shouting just puts us both in a bad mood. I’m not sure what hormonal cocktail it is that makes teen boys hyper forgetful, accident-prone and that make their hair stand on end. But it really it needs to be bottled and used as a weapon of mass confusion because then we’d never need to go to war again!! If you start your day like me, rushing around looking for a gym bag with a P.E kit that most definitely has NOT been washed again (this is what Febreze was actually invented for). Not eating breakfast, sweating buckets and giving the perfectly coiffured mum’s a cheery wave as you trip up the pavement. A self-care routine might just help to reduce stress and anxiety.
No not actual son or son’s bedroom – far too tidy!!
Now, this article isn’t going to be full of things like pick your favourite room scents. Or White neroli and mimosa are perfect for energy so you can focus, because quite frankly who has the time or money for that type of thing.
No, don’t go!! When the alarm goes off, just take a few moments to think about the things you are grateful for and what you want to achieve. I know, I know, but you are setting the tone for your whole day here and being thankful and positive are strong, confident emotions. Think about how much you love those people in your life and what you want for them and yourself.
Stretch & Breath
While everyone else is rushing about getting ready, put the kettle on and block out the noise for a few minutes. Stretching and breathing give you a few minutes to yourself and helps to get the blood moving around the body in an orderly way.
Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart. Place your arms down by your sides. As you breathe in, raise your arms out to your sides and reach them overhead and press your palms together. As you breathe out, lower your arms down by your sides. Repeat this arm movement with your breathing 10 times. This should be long enough for the kettle to boil – getting fluids into your body is important!
No, not a breakfast bar! I know, but it is essential to eat a nutritious breakfast. One of the reasons we feel so stressed out is because blood sugar fluctuations can aggravate symptoms such as anxiety. If you can prep the night before excellent, here are some recipes from NHS for people who hate breakfast.
And that’s it!
Does it work?
Well, it won’t work in a day or even a week, but in a couple of weeks, you should be able feel a difference. You should be calmer and less stressed. What do you have to lose, you don’t have to buy any expensive equipment or sign up to a scheme, but in 14 days your mental health might benefit from a few simple changes.