We’ve all been in situations that we can find stressful, and which can impact on us afterwards. Some people may even find they work well under pressure, and feel that a little bit of stress is a good thing.
Though everything is good in small doses – too much stress can have an impact on your health, be it physical or mental. So to help you find your own way of helping to manage your stress levels, we’ve come up with a few ideas to get you started.
Whether you take your cakes and bakes seriously, or just like making something for fun, baking is something that everyone can enjoy. You can start by making firm favourites that all your friends and family will love, like this recipe for delicious chocolate brownies from Good Food. Or why not challenge your skills by making something a little more elaborate, like this stunning cheesecake recipe from The Baking Explorer? If you like to stick to making sweet things, you could even try making something savoury.
All you need to help you get stuck in is a decent recipe! Whether you choose to get stuck in with family and friends, or take the time to create something for yourself, baking is a good way to de-stress. The Independent says that one in three bake to help them de-stress after a hard day’s work.
If you like the idea of having a project to keep you busy and take your mind off things, then why not try gardening? Your garden is the perfect blank canvas to transform as you wish – from flower beds to growing fruit and vegetables, there is an endless list of things you can do.
Why not create the ideal space for a family barbecue? Or get stuck in with planting and pruning to transform your flower beds into something that will really wow your garden guests. You can tailor what you do in your garden to suit you, and it will give you the distraction you need to take your mind off anything stressful.Very Well Mind say there are a variety of ways that gardening can help you to relieve stress, from as little as just being out in the fresh air.
Go for a walk
Take a time-out from technology by going for a walk. Wherever you choose to wander, make sure to really take in your surroundings to allow your mind to relax. Even if it’s just a quick half an hour walk at the end of a long day, this will give you a few moments to yourself to process your day.
If you’ve got a free day to play with, you could explore a local nature walk to really switch off from the daily grind, or go visit a beach to walk along the sand. By just taking a few minutes out of your day to do some gentle exercise, you’ll be doing your body and mind the world of good. As Prevention say, even a brief stroll can be as effective as a brisk walk.
Find something you love
Self care is something that everyone needs from time to time. Doing something you love with your free time can help you to relax, even if you only get to do it for an hour or so a day. You might already have your favourite go to hobby, like reading or baking, but why not try something new?
Take up a new sport, or get involved with things that are happening in your local area, such as a choir or art class. If you find something that you enjoy doing with your free time, it will help you to switch off from situations that you find stressful in your daily life. Haven’t got a clue where to start? Huffington Post have a great list of ideas to inspire you.
One way that can help you manage stress is to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply taking a few minutes out of your day to sit and focus on your breathing, allowing you to concentrate on the here and now. It is encouraged to try not to worry about something that’s been bothering you, and to turn your attention to your surroundings.
Mindfulness is thought to be just as effective as medication for helping those who suffer from depression, and has even been introduced into schools to help pupils tackle the stress brought on by exams. You can find helpful videos on Youtube to show you how to practice mindfulness, which could help you take the few minutes you need in the day to relax.
Maintain a healthy work-life balance
The Mental Health Foundation state that “Stress is a natural reaction to many situations in life, such as work, family, relationships and money problems.” While stress can indeed be caused by a myriad of things, one of the most important ways to help you manage stress is to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
It can sometimes feel that your life revolves around your workplace, especially if you have a job which means you have to do work at home. Know when to draw the line between your work life and your home life, and know when to say no. Try to prioritise what needs to be done first, and what can wait for tomorrow. Remember that your mental health is important, and should come before pushing yourself too hard at work.
Have you got your own tips for helping to manage stress? Let us know on our Facebook page!