Most people feel stressed sometimes and some people find stress helpful or even motivating. But if stress is affecting your life, there are plenty of things you can do to help cope with stressful events, and simple steps you can take to deal with feelings of stress or burnout.
10 tips to combat stress
There’s a solution to any problem and the act of taking control is in itself empowering.
Connect with people
A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles and help you see things in a different way. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever.
Have some ‘me time’
Working long hours means we often don’t spend enough time doing things we really enjoy. It’s good to set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality “me time” away from work.
Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside, such as learning a new language or a new sport, helps build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.
Avoid unhealthy habits
Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping. In the long term, these crutches won’t solve your problems. They’ll just create new ones.
Help other people
Helping others, through activities such as volunteering, can make you become more resilient. If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day.
Work smarter, not harder
Working smarter means prioritising your work, concentrating on the tasks that’ll make a real difference. Get tips on how to manage your time better
Try to be positive
Look for the positives in life, and things for which you’re grateful. Try writing down 3 things that went well, or for which you’re grateful, at the end of every day. Listen to the audio guide on Unhelpful Thinking here
Accept the things you can’t change
Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over. Listen to the audio guide on Sleep Problems here.
Breathing Exercises for Stress
This calming breathing technique for stress, anxiety and panic takes just a few minutes and can be done anywhere.
- Let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable, without forcing it.
- Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- Breathe in gently and regularly. Some people find it helpful to count steadily from 1 to 5. You may not be able to reach 5 at first.
- Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again, if you find this helpful.
- Keep doing this for 3 to 5 minutes.