Wednesday, 7 September 2016

17 stress busting top tips – if they work for me, they'll work for you!

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Picture courtesy of www.stangecosmos.com

Everyone goes through stress at some point, and it is nothing to be ashamed of or complacent about. Stress can occur at work with deadlines or a nasty boss, at home when you are worried about a friends or loved one, or even within oneself such as worrying about your own ability and your lack belief in yourself. Whatever is causing it, stress will look different to everyone and it could be that it makes you very tired, very grumpy, or you may feel very emotional and upset. Firstly, I know it is easy for me to say – but try not to worry. It will get better. This has been something I have been telling myself for the past two days as I am trying to look and apply for new jobs, sort two of my best friends birthdays, organise dress try fittings for my role as Maid of Honour, get my work done to very tight deadlines, ensure I am keeping up with my blogging commitments of two articles per week,  and on top of that viewing houses and arranging mortgage meetings. (Cor – it looks mental when I write it all down!?) Stress won’t last, but I will. I am strong, I work hard and I will be okay. And you know what? So will you! I have compiled some of my own top tips as well as some of my favourites across the web. I hope that these help you to break free from your worries and find your smile again.

1. Try doing some breathing exercises: Sit still and focus on your breathing. Inhale slowly and deeply for eight seconds, then exhale slowly for eight seconds. Repeat this five or six times. It helps bring more oxygen to the brain. (You can do this at home or at work. Just find somewhere quiet to go so you don’t look mad at your desk!)

2. Stretch. Being stress will tense all of your muscles, setting of headaches and goodness knows what else! Try lowering your chin down, slowly roll your head from shoulder to shoulder to release tension in your neck and shoulders. If lying down, starting from your toes and working upwards. Squeeze and tense each muscle in turn before relaxing them. This technique really helps me, and afterwards always seems to help me fall asleep!

3. Make faces (try imitating Jim Carrey) in a mirror to stretch out tense facial muscles -- and provide a good laugh, too!

4. Be optimistic. Think of ways to turn difficulties into opportunities.

5. Count your blessings. (I love this one!) Make a list of everything you're grateful for and keep it handy for when you need reminding. (I like to stash mine in my purse.)

6. Find a stress-free sanctuary. Go to a spot where you can find some peace and privacy, even if it's a bathroom cubicle.

7. Go for a 20 minute walk. Getting some fresh air will not only boost endorphin's through exercise but will also get you some fresh air and help to clear your head. Feeling better already?

8. Visualise. Breathe deeply and think of a place that gives you comfort: a private beach, a garden, a cozy room, you bed? Be creative and get taken away!

9. Have a tech free zone or turn off your tech for a few hours. Sometimes it is just the thought that you may get a call or text that has us worrying. To properly switch off – turn them off!

10. Have a banana. It'll boost your energy and replace potassium, which is depleted quickly during times of distress. (This is something I did not know before. But from experience and a whole bag of bananas later – I can tell you it really does work!!!)

11. HUG. I love hugs. Go find a friend, family member or partner who will give you an amazing hug. Human contact helps to make us feel safe and happier. Also hugging yourself can help to comfort you too. Who knew?!

12. Make yourself a cuppa. Long hard day? How good does it feel to sit and unwind with a really good cup of builders tea. (If any of you guys aren’t from the UK, you may not understand the significance of a really good tea – but trust me. It’s a life saver!) Or for herbal drinks, I also love a good cup of Chamomile tea too!

13. Minimize your self-criticism. Delete the chatter in your head and choose constructive ways to look at yourself and the situation. One way of doing this is to try and focus on what you're doing instead of how you're doing.

14. Keep a stash of de-stressers on hand. This could be a holiday snap of your favourite spot, a book poems or a letter from someone you love. Or for the less gushy types, how about  an item that's guaranteed to give you a good chuckle: maybe a hilarious picture of you and you friends on holiday, or a video of your mum dancing at your sisters wedding….. anyone? Oh just me then!

15. Try using calming scents. Essential oils such as lavender, geranium, petitgrain, sandalwood, neroli, ylang-ylang and bergamot are supposed to help soothe and relax. Combinations of these oils can be used in either spray, roll-on or diffuser form, or as a few droplets added neat to your pillow or a hanky.

16. Find a stress busting pal. Work with your friend to help cheer each other up in times of need. How about trying the "5 x 5" method? You each take five minutes to talk about your problem or whats worrying you and another five minutes to work on a solution. Then swap!

17. Get a massage. (This is possibly my favourite one haha.) Whether you pay for a full blown hour long full body massage, or ask your partner to give you a quick 15 minute neck and shoulder massage. They will have the same effect – and you will feel so much more relaxed and ready to tackle the world. Better ye, use some of the oils I mentioned in point 15 and you are sure to feel and smell awesome in no time.

I hope you enjoyed these top tips and that some of them prove helpful. Let me know which ones are your favourites, and which ones you like to use.

Breathe everyone. Only two more days till the weekend. WE CAN DO THIS!!!!

Much Love,

Alissa Marie
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