Living in the present times ain’t easy. Stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic, combined with personal dilemmas, have taken a toll on our mental health. Adding stress and anxiety to the mix and we have a disaster!
The statistics aren’t great… ‘In Ireland, Maynooth University and Trinity College studied 1,000 people in March and April 2020 (during the initial restrictions) and found that 41% of respondents reported feeling lonely, 23% reported clinically meaningful depression, 20% reported clinically meaningful anxiety and 18% reported clinically meaningful post-traumatic stress. A peer-reviewed study of 847 members of the public in Ireland between March and June 2020 (during restrictions) also found significant increases in depression, anxiety and stress compared to before restrictions. A survey of 195 psychiatrists by the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland in May and June 2020 found that the majority reported increased referrals for generalised anxiety (79% reported an increase), health anxiety (72%), depression (57%) and panic (54%).’ To read more click here.
Even before Covid I was an extremely anxious person. Stressing about nearly everything in my daily life, forced me to try out and practice different techniques to at least REDUCE THE EFFECTS the stress and anxiety have on my body and my mind.
“Big things happen because you do a lot of small things supremely well and they compound over time.”― Jim Collins
Determine what exactly triggers your stress and anxiety. Is it your job, family/friends or your weight? Is it your own mind? Whatever it might be, do something to change it. Don’t just sit there waiting for things to change… You gotta make it happen yourself!
Now, I’m not saying get rid of your family members or your job, but simply adjust them to work in favour for both sides. Setting healthy boundaries is one good example of what you can do to reduce stress and anxiety that come from people in our life.
Read more about ‘Healthy Arguing’
When it comes to other personal issues such as weight, mental health or even substance abuse, you can also learn to change it. If you need help to accomplish those changes; do not be afraid to ask. There’s nothing wrong with needing help. As problems tend to grow overtime if we overlook them. It is better to deal with it now than later! Trust me on this one.
There came a time in my life, a couple of years ago that I finally asked for help in relation to how I felt. I just couldn’t deal with it by myself anymore. . . Since that day my life improved massively, and in so many different ways, some really unexpected – I finally took proper care of my health, stopped smoking cigarettes, started therapy and most importantly I became Happier.
Preparation = Stress Elimination
I love to be prepared. For every occasion and situation. Whether it’s preparation for work the next day or a family holiday. I try to stay informed and do my research. As well as prepare for many different possibilities. I learned that by being prepared you do get your stress level down. Don’t beat yourself over things that never happen! Instead look back and be realistic about what might actually happen in certain situations. Make plans A, B and C (I like to add D and E sometimes as well). This simple method did reduced stress and a tiny bit of anxiety. Try it out and see if it works for you!
‘Expect the Unexpected’
For instance, you won’t take hiking boots for work just in case, if you work in the office, because that just wouldn’t make sense. However, when I went for a week to Donegal (Town in Ireland) and I took hiking boots even tho, we were only meant to be chilling on the beach! I did use them. There was an unplanned visit to Glenveagh National Park. I was well Prepared 😎 and eliminated the stress of thinking what would I wear otherwise.
Accept, Tolerate & Adjust
Accept the fact that some things and some people just don’t change. Accepting that a loved one doesn’t love us back or a friend you thought was there for you turned out to be the silent enemy; is a tough one to accept. But in order for you to start the healing process you need to make peace (accept) some things and decide what to do from then on.
Tolerate only the things you would allow your loved one to tolerate. Set up healthy boundaries for how you expect to be treated by others and accept nothing less. But be realistic in those decisions – this doesn’t mean accepting down talking, bullying or any form of abuse; whether it’s verbal, emotional, psychological or physical. Do what makes you feel good and valued. If that means cutting off certain people to eliminate the stress that comes with them. This is what you must do.
Adjust yourself to the standard of life you’d always wanted to live. Revising how your surroundings benefit you. Do people around you make you feel better about yourself or worse? Adjust your environment to your needs, and adjust what you focus your energy on!
Be physically fit
We should take a look at King Julian here and when he famously sang ‘I Like to Move It, Move It’ and follow his advice. We should all move our bodies as much as possible, whether it’s dancing, yoga, running, walking, swimming or any sport at all. MOVE YOUR BODY for once it is good for your overall health, it does produce Serotonin (happy hormone) which is responsible for your mood. Resulting in the stress and anxiety decreasing.
Healthy diet – whatever that means for you at the moment! Whether it’s starting just by introducing 5 pieces of fruit and veg, proper hydration or preparing a healthy meal 5 times a day. It’s completely up to you how you want to go about it. But at least starting the process will make you feel so much better. Getting the right food into your system will benefit your body and mind in many different ways. I don’t think I even need to explain it more… So why not try now?
Self Care & Relaxation Techniques
Practice healthy and effective self-care as often as you possibly can. Learn how to upgrade it with new tips and ways. There are many different ways to practice self-care. You will definitely find at least some beneficial. See what works best for you.
Some of my favourite self-care activities are;
- Nice long bath or shower
- Reading a book you like
- Spending time with family and friends
- Spending time alone!
- Good sleeping schedule – I can’t stress enough how big of a difference it is if you adapt your sleeping schedule correctly. Some people require more or less sleep (it depends on many factors). See how much you require – to find out more about sleep go to ‘Sleep Calculator’ on Healthline.com