10 simple tips to help you cope with stress and anxiety
With April officially marking National Stress Awareness Month, it's the perfect time to try to eradicate bad habits for a more relaxed body and mind.
While day-to-day life may cause many anxiety-inducing situations, it is possible to take a healthy approach to help manage the daily stresses and take positive control of your health and wellbeing.
Be more active
Exercise benefits your mind as well as your body and regular physical activity is proven to be a positive stress reliever.
Setting aside some time each day to be more active will help your mind and body to relax, and even a short brisk walk can be greatly beneficial.
Get enough sleep
Getting a good night's rest has many positive health benefits associated with it.
Tiredness can make you much more irritable, which in turn leads to increased stress, so ensuring you get enough sleep (around 7-8 hours per night) will help you to feel calmer and more refreshed for the day ahead.
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While stress may cause many of us to turn to indulgent comforts, these high fat foods can make your body feel more tired and lethargic.
Maintaining a healthy diet will ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to give you enough energy to fuel your body and mind.
Cut down on bad habits
Try to avoid the temptation to rely on caffeine or alcohol as a way of coping with anxiety, as these stimulants will actually heighten your stress levels rather than reducing them.
Cutting down on your intake and opting for water, herbal teas or natural fruit juices as an alternative is a much healthier way to keep hydrated.
Manage your time
It's easy to feel overwhelmed when faced with an endless list of tasks to complete, so managing your time more effectively and prioritising the most important items is a great way of making your day feel more manageable.
Enjoy some 'me time'
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Set aside time each day for some quality 'me time' to ensure you have the chance to do the things you really enjoy.
Whether that's socialising with friends, doing some exercise or relaxing with a good book, it's important to earmark time to unwind.
Pursue a hobby
Pursuing an interest outside of work is a great way to focus your mind on something fun that you are passionate about, and it's a good opportunity to make new friendships - all of which have a positive stress-reducing effect.
Pinpoint your triggers
Pinpointing what is causing you stress is the most effective way of learning to control it.
Being aware of what situations trigger stress will help you learn to avoid them in the future, or develop better coping techniques for managing them.
Keeping note in a diary is an easy way to keep track.
Try some relaxation techniques
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Meditation, yoga and massage are popular relaxation techniques which can be effective for reducing stress, but these don't always work for everyone so try experimenting to see what works best for you.
Listening to music, taking a hot bath, or going for a long walk are some great alternatives you could try to help clear your mind.
Coping with stress alone can be difficult, so don't be afraid to talk to others about how you are feeling.
Talking aloud can be a great way of releasing some of the tension, and the support and advice from others might help with putting things into perspective.