Have you been feeling fraught recently? While a little stress can sometimes help you get things done or focus better, an overload may leave you unable to cope and even threaten your long-term health.
There’s a lot to feel stressed about in today’s world too, from the ongoing cost-of-living crisis to climate worries. How you manage it can make a big difference to your mental and physical health and important parts of daily life, such as your work and relationships.
Of course, there may be medical reasons behind your stress that make it worth consulting a pharmacist. But there are lots of practical steps you can take to address everyday stress yourself, starting with these 5 below.
Improve your sleep
The NHS states that healthy adults need around 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Without it, you may have a lower mood while struggling to complete daily tasks, contributing to increased stress.
Having a healthy, regular sleep routine is one way to reduce your worries. Your sleep environment is important too, with most people finding it easier to snooze when it’s quiet, dark and cool.
Being active regularly is another great way to improve your sleep, helping you burn off nervous energy and clear your head. It won’t eliminate stress if the causes are still there, but it can reduce some of the emotional intensity and help you find solutions calmly.
Not everyone enjoys all kinds of exercise. If you’re relatively inactive right now, aim to find one or more forms you like, start small and see how you feel.
Connect with people and nature
Having a good network of family, friends and colleagues around you can be key when you have stresses in life that you need to talk through.
Connecting with the right people may help you feel supported, see your problems in a different light or even find new solutions. Coming forward about your stress could encourage others to do the same too, fostering better support networks.
Avoid unhealthy habits
When we feel stressed, it can be tempting to reach for vices that make us feel better in the short term such as alcohol, caffeine and junk food.
They might offer you some temporary relief from your stress and are unlikely to become a major problem when enjoyed in moderation. But using them as crutches can quickly create new problems, adding to your stress levels.
Counter negative thoughts
It may be easier said than done, but countering negative thoughts and trying to reframe your stress can help to alleviate some of what’s bothering you.
Reminding yourself of things you’re grateful for in life is one easy way to look more favourably on your situation. Positive self-affirmations can also boost your self-esteem and confidence, reducing stress in the process.
Could any of these tips help you manage stress better in your everyday life?