Early this year, we have seen a worrying growth trend in the COVID-19 numbers. New regulations and hard borders are back in place, it certainly is a worrying and unsure time here in Australia.
With that and the everyday stresses of work and home life, it’s a recipe for disaster and stress.
It can be hard to navigate a way through the smoke when stress takes hold but that is why we are here today. We want to help shed some light on the subject and share with you, what we believe to be good stress busters.
Sometimes there can be a little confusion around the definition of what ‘stress’ is. In a nutshell, it is basically our body’s reaction to a demand or a challenge. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, in short bursts, stress can help you. For example, it can help you avoid danger (fight or flight) or in the working world, help meet a deadline.
It’s when we have prolonged bursts of stress that it can take its toll on our minds and bodies.
What are the common causes of stress?
- Overwhelming responsibilities
- Times of uncertainty such as now with COVID-19
- Unexpected change – unemployment, bereavement, changes in living situation
We’re sorry to say that when it comes to coping or dealing with stress, there isn’t one fix for all. While you may find it relaxing to learn something new like a sport or how to play an instrument. I would find it too demanding and frustrating.
As we get older, we learn what works and doesn’t work for us. We know what can help us either calm down or immediately relax in a stressful situation. For those of you who may be looking for a way to let off some steam, I have a few ideas.
Take on a new hobby
Taking on a new hobby could be just what the doctor ordered. It allows you to immerse yourself in something new and it’s a great way to learn new things.
A hobby I have recently taken up is paint by numbers, it sounds easy but when it’s an intricate painting and you need to focus on keeping inside the lines, suddenly the rest of the day slips away. There is only room for the hobby.
A little R&R goes a long way
For me, nothing helps me de-stress more than a little R&R. This could be a trip to the massage parlor, getting my nails done, or simply having a long soak in the bath.
It’s the smell of the citrus oils and bubble bath that can put you in a trance and help you to relax.
It’s ‘me time’ that allows me to ‘clock out’ of my day and a chance to escape the stress.
Meditation / Yoga
Meditation and Yoga are two great ways to escape your current situation. They both require you to take a step back, breathe deep and clear your mind. I’m not saying it’s easy but it’s a great start in helping you step out of a stressful situation.
They can be done at any time of the day or night. The whole point is to help you take 10 minutes out of the day just for you. It’s a chance to catch your breath.
If that’s not your thing, what about starting off small. Pop the kettle on and give yourself 10 minutes to sit and enjoy a cuppa?
Exercise is good for the body and mind; it might take some talking into if you are not used to it but even 30 minutes a day could help you de-stress. Physical activity will help pump up your endorphins, the brain’s feel-good hormone (also known as the runner’s high) which can have you feel more positive.
Stress affects more than your mood, it can have negative effects on your heart, digestive, and immune system. With exercise, you are actually helping to protect your body from these harmful effects.