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Navigating and Managing Daily Stress

Stressed? Anxious? *Gestures wildly around generally* – well, yeah of course. I am suuuper keen to be going back to work and am not at all stressed out about it – after only a few days off. Without getting into it too much, mainly because I don’t want to (maybe later), stress triggers the body’s fight-or-flight response, releasing hormones like cortisol. While this can be useful in emergencies, or when we were being hunted by predators back in the day (… or currently…??), chronic stress isn’t fantastic. It can weaken the immune system, raise the risk of heart disease, disrupt sleep, affect concentration and impact mental health, leading to elevated anxiety and/or depression.

BEST. OF. ALL. It’s the new year and that just means a whole lotta feelings (usually). The week after Christmas and leading into the new year is great, lost to time and space, but starts to feel like one big Sunday afternoon as the new year/return to work/feelings like you gotta make that change/a whole ‘nother year until the lost to space and time feeling returns.

SO, its good to get some strategies in place now, so you survive the next year. And maybe even… thrive..? Okay no, that was too much. But strategies to manage daily stress can be a nice launching point to build on things like working on a work/life balance, setting some goals for your health, or working towards your next travel adventure.

Managing stress through techniques like mindfulness, exercise, sleep, and social support is crucial for overall well-being, as prolonged stress can harm both the body and mind.

Here are five effective strategies to manage daily stress:

1. Mindfulness and Deep Breathing:

Take moments throughout the day to pause and take a (literal) breath or engage in mindfulness exercises. Focusing on your breath helps calm the mind and reduce stress levels.

2. Regular Physical Exercise:

Engaging in physical activity, even if it’s a short (aka “hot girl”) walk or quick workout, releases endorphins, the body’s natural stress fighters. Regular exercise helps alleviate tension and promotes a more positive mood. “At what cost?” You may ask? At the literal cost of making yourself feel better, stop trying to be cool and go for a walk.

3. Time Management:

Prioritize tasks and break them into smaller, manageable parts. Using techniques like the Pomodoro Technique (working in focused intervals followed by breaks) can increase productivity and reduce stress. List your tasks into ones you would like to prioritise and ones you “could do tomorrow” to reduce a mountain into a more manageable size.

4. Healthy Lifestyle Choices:

Maintain a balanced diet*, stay hydrated, and ensure adequate sleep. A nourished body copes better with stress, and quality sleep helps recharge your system.

*balanced here means BALANCED. Eat what makes you happy but also what leaves your energy levels, mood and body feeling good.

5. Self-Care:

Incorporate things you enjoy into your daily routine, whether that be one of the things already named in this list, or something else. Engage in activities that rejuvenate your mind and body, whether it’s exercise, meditation, reading, or spending quality time with loved ones. Prioritising your own needs is essential for maintaining balance and managing stress effectively.

6. Embrace Adaptability:

If it’s returning to work after time off, allow yourself the flexibility to acclimate gradually. If it’s getting through the perceived mountain of tasks in work and everyday life, understand that feeling a bit overwhelmed is normal, and give yourself the space to adjust at your own pace.

7: Support Network:

Don’t forget to reach out, to friends, family, or colleagues, for support when you feel overwhelmed. Sharing concerns or simply connecting with others can provide emotional relief and a fresh perspective on stressors.

Incorporating strategies like these into your routine can help manage stress and improve overall wellbeing. If stress is a big issue for you, these strategies definitely don’t replace seeing a professional and getting a bit extra support.

Check out the resources here for some ideas for managing self care and some ideas for managing stress. Do you have any tried and true strategies for managing stress? Let us know below. Subscribe for more resources and updates on new posts!


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