So, what can you do if you are feeling stressed?
• Do some exercise! This could include going out for a walk to the park. Exercise helps your body and mind to focus your energy and thoughts on the physical activity at hand, and steers your focus away from stressful thoughts.
• Relax. Do something that you enjoy. Stop for a moment and have a bath if you are at home, play your favourite song if you can, or take a few minutes to take some deep breathes.
• Reduce your drinking and smoking. Drinking can affect how you perceive situations and any existing stressful thoughts can become more overwhelming. While a lot of smokers feel that smoking can be relaxing or calm your nerves, in reality, it can actually contribute towards making you feeling more anxious.
• Make a plan! If something is really stressful for you, identify exactly what it is and make a note of the things that need to be done in order to change this around. Once you have a list, make a plan with all the steps you need to follow and do it!
• Manage your time: plan your day and make sure your to-do lists are realistic, so that you have enough time to do everything. Remember, it is okay to say ‘no’ if you can’t do something: put yourself first.
If you are struggling with stress and you live in Buckinghamshire, you can be self-refer at any time to Healthy Minds: call us 01865 901600 during normal working hours, fill in our online referral form, or text ‘TALK’ to 07798 667169. We are a NHS service providing free and confidential advice, support and therapy to anyone experiencing difficulties with anxiety, depression or stress.
If you live in Oxfordshire, get in touch with Talking Space, where we provide a similar service for Oxfordshire residents.