Stress Awareness Month is back to remind us what stress is and how to manage it in order to improve your wellbeing. We all experience stress in our day-to-day routines, or through significant life events and changes. This can motivate and inspire us, but how do we recognise when stress becomes too much and we need counselling support?
Am I stressed?
Stress can affect us in many ways. It might be a foggy head, struggling to make decisions or remember things, being short-tempered, overly time-conscious or easily upset. You may struggle with sleep, eat and drink too much, or find you’re getting frequent colds and headaches. All of these can be early signs that stress is shifting from a comfortable level to too much. Before you burn out, take a look at what’s happening and what you can do to get back on track.
Taking Back Control
This year’s theme on connectivity, certainty and control recognises the impact that feeling disconnected socially, worrying about finances, and working in unexpected or unpredictable situations can have on our sense of wellbeing.
The challenge is to take one action towards physical, mental and emotional wellbeing each day throughout April to set the scene for positive lifestyle change.
So, whether you try 30 different things to see what you enjoy or set a goal and stick to it for the whole month, habits are about the regular steps we take to manage stress. Our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are linked to the changes we make in one area can have bigger impact than the action itself for our overall health and encourage further change.
Our physical wellbeing includes diet, exercise and sleep habits.
• Plan your snacks and meals to keep healthy eating on track
• Keep a food diary to see where you might improve your habits
• Commit to a Couch-to-5k to get out in the fresh air on 3 days per week
• Drink an extra glass of water each day
• Try breathing exercises to calm and relax
• Go to bed half an hour earlier
• Prepare a meal you’ve never made before from scratch
Improve Mental Wellbeing
It can help to look at stress management in terms of actions you can take to manage stress, and acceptance of other aspects outside of your control. Peritus Health offer counselling and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) are talking therapies that offer a confidential space to understand our own mental health, identify coping strategies and can provide lasting effective change.
Time management and goals –
• Plan your schedule for the next day the night before
• Recognise time-wasting tasks and monitor how long you spend on them
• Take regular breaks to refresh and revitalise
• Unsubscribe from emails you never read
• Create a pie chart of how you spend your time, current vs ideal
Acceptance – based tips –
• Break down your worries into things you can do something about, things you can influence in some way, and those outside of your control. Spend time on things in that order.
• Recognise where your time and energy is over-stretched and learn to say no sometimes
• Try to look at thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad, just accept them as they are
• List your values in order of importance to you and make decisions based on what reflects those values
Your Emotional Wellbeing
• Reflect on your favourite thing about the day to focus on the positives
• Write a journal before sleep to process anything left over from the day
• Dedicate 10 minutes to “worry time” writing down or sorting out things that are bothering you
• Phone a friend
• Listen to your favourite music
• Volunteer time towards a community project
• Figure out what you enjoy doing and plan it in
• Plan a holiday
• Book a counselling session
How can we help?
At Peritus Health Management, we have a range of options to help you manage stress and wellbeing. Whether you’re an employer looking to train employees in Stress Management Awareness, reviewing your Wellbeing Policy and work practices against the HSE Management Standards or providing workplace counselling, we can offer a package that works for you. To find out how Peritus Health can help you and your business click here.
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