Health and Wellbeing: Stress Management
This page offers a number of tips on managing and reducing the impact of stress. Hopefully at least some of them might work for you if you do feel stressed. Firstly, listen to your body and identify when you are feeling stressed, you might:
- have a fast heartbeat
- be sweating
- have a clenched jaw
- feel sick
- have aches, pains or tense muscles
- be worrying all the time
When you can identify that you are stressed, you can start taking steps to better manage its impact. These tips might help, yes, some might be easier said than done, but at least think about them.
- Try to reduce time spent on social media and the Internet in general. There's some evidence that spending time on social media sites increases stress levels, which in turn, leads to more social media use (and more stress...) There's a lot of negativity around at the moment; you don't have to actively seek it out. If you are online, try to do something useful or fun like...
- Stay connected with your classmates, friends: and family: meet up for a coffee or a chat. If circumstances prevent meeting up in person, think about organising online meetings/study groups/virtual coffees or some other kind of activity. If you have Netflix, there's an app for the Chrome browser called Netflix Party which lets you have virtual movie or TV nights
- Try and get a good night's sleep - the following might help:
- Change your diet. A healthier diet will improve how you feel.
- Eat more fruit and vegetables
- Eat less processed food
- Drink less alcohol
- Get out of the house and do a little exercise. Exercise boosts energy levels, increases concentration, and strengthens your heart. Exercise also makes you feel better. You don't have to run a marathon, a 30-minute walk is enough (to start with, at least!)
- Try a relaxation technique like deep breathing, or meditation.
- Talk to someone - don't bottle up how you feel. Talk to your friends or family members. Even if they can't give you good advice, they can listen and sometimes that's enough. Does your college or training centre have a support or counselling service? Talk to them.
- Go easy on yourself, especially right now in the times of Covid-19: you're not working or studying at home - you're staying at home during a time of crisis and trying to get a little work or study done.
There are a few other things that you can do to de-stress, think about trying the following:
- Gratefulness writing - write about some of the things you are grateful for, or each day write or think about the good events of the day
- Keep in touch - catch up with your friends and family - say hello and ask them how they're getting on
- Go for a walk in a park - get some fresh air and clear your mind in some quiet surroundings
- Read a book - not Jean-Paul Satre's Being and Nothingness or anything deep and meaningful; read something trashy and fun!
- Watch a video - something light; a comedy or even a funny animal video
- Do something different - try some new recipes or think about a new hobby or craft
- Exercise - take a little time each day to do some exercise; run instead of walking; walk or cycle instead of taking the car
- Make a playlist - make a playlist of your favourite songs that lift your mood