Stress Awareness Month is recognised every April all across the world. The aim of this month is to help raise awareness of stress. Stress experts and organisations try to inform the public on signs of stress and the best practices for dealing with stress.
So, how can you cope with stress? Take a break, unplug from the online world, practice meditation, eat well and plenty, get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, exercise regularly, have some fun and if your stress becomes overwhelming, seek help from loved ones and professionals.
The definition of stress varies, but it is often considered as the mismatch between the heavy demands placed on us and our ability to deal with those demands.
Each of us deals with stress in various ways. Our coping mechanisms for stress are usually a result of our thinking process, environment, personality and upbringing as a child.
Stress is not always a negative emotion. It can be used to motivate us and help us to get things done. However, stress is often processed negatively. This leads to feeling pressured, uncomfortable and anxious. If we do not have stress management mechanisms in place, stress can evolve into various physical and mental health conditions.
Here at Dolma, the wellbeing of our customers is important to us. Here are 7 ways to help cope with stress and create a better stress management system. Remember, if you need help, you should never be afraid to ask for it. Take advantage of these stress helplines:
7 Ways to Cope with Stress
1. Take a Break and Unplug from the Online World
Our modern world full of technology and constant communication often demands that we’re always ‘online’ or ‘available’. When you’re feeling stressed, it’s important to unplug and take some time for yourself.
Many of us feel like we must always be in contact with friends, family, and work colleagues. It’s vital that you completely go offline a few times a week and just be with yourself.
Think of something relaxing that you can do by yourself. This could include taking a nice long walk in nature, running a bath and locking the door, listening to music, doing something creative or going for a small trip by yourself.
No matter how you choose to spend your alone time, just make sure your devices are switched off. If you’re at home, ask all family members to give you some space during these times.
2. Practice Meditation
Practising meditation is not reserved for spiritual gurus, yogis and hippies. The scientific world has finally caught up to what some civilisations have known for millennia. Meditation is an excellent tool for mental health.
Just taking 10-30 minutes a day to sit down and be silent can have profound effects for your wellbeing. Research has shown that meditation can help with anything from stress to irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Remember, meditation is not about ‘not thinking’. It’s the practice of clearing your thoughts and each time your mind wanders into thoughts about the past and future, you come back to the present. You’re not looking for enlightenment, just a clearer mind.
3. Eat Well and Plenty
Food has a profound effect on our mental health. Fatty, sugary, salty and calorie-rich foods can quickly create a state of stress, anxiety and even depression. These foods also contribute to weight gain, which can then create mental health issues and vice versa. This is a vicious cycle that can be hard to break.
Foods rich in nutrients such as fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds are nature’s natural antidepressants. It’s no wonder that vegans report less stress and anxiety than those on an omnivore diet.
A diet made up of healthy natural foods helps your brain increase the release of serotonin, otherwise known as the “Happy Chemical”. Recent research has shown that “a dietary pattern characterised by a high consumption of red and/or processed meat, refined grains, sweets, high-fat dairy products, butter, potatoes and high-fat gravy, and low intakes of fruits and vegetables is associated with an increased risk of depression.”
Eat well and eat plenty as part of your stress management.
4. Get 7-9 Hours of Sleep Each Night
As we become increasingly distracted by easy-to-access entertainment like Netflix and social media, we’re giving up more of our precious beauty sleep.
The value of getting enough sleep has been well-documented for a very long time. We need at least 7-9 hours for our bodies and minds to function at our best. But many of us are reducing this to 5 or 6 hours, choosing to watch TV or scrolling on our phones instead.
Not only does this lack of sleep negatively affect your mental health, TV and social media also contribute to poor mental health. This popular modern combination has resulted in millions of people who constantly feel tired, stressed, anxious and depressed.
For an immediate bounce back to a clearer mind, start scheduling in 7-9 hours of sleep every night. You will see a tremendous difference in your stress levels within a week or so.
5. Exercise Regularly
Exercise releases endorphins which are natural pain and stress fighter chemicals released by our brain. Exercise is one of the most recommended methods from medical professionals to help cope with stress.
Being active and getting your heart rate up for just 30 minutes a day can help you to cope with stress. This could be a brisk walk, a jog, run, gym session or sports session. The benefits of exercise for our mental wellbeing are well documented and hard to argue with.
Humans are animals. We’re not designed to sit around in offices for 8+ hours a day. Being active and being outdoors is essential for us to maintain both physical and mental health. If you’re feeling stressed, try running it off.
6. Have More Fun
Modern life can feel so serious at times. We’re all so busy all the time that busy has become a badge of honour for some of us. Life is much more than just working. Taking a break to have fun actually helps boost productivity.
Make sure you schedule some time for fun. Do something you truly enjoy whether it’s something creative like drawing or something experiential like going for a picnic with your family or friends.
Having fun helps your body to reduce cortisol levels and increase levels of serotonin. This combination will help you to achieve a clearer mind, boost productivity and even improve your memory. Don’t run on autopilot, take a break and have a laugh every now and then.
7. Seek Help from Loved Ones and Professionals
Stress varies in its severity. For some people, it can be a slight annoyance, and for others, it can ruin their life if they’re not able to cope with their stress correctly.
At first, you could speak to your loved ones and friends for support. Sometimes, just talking about your stress can help to alleviate some of the pressure. We all must try harder to be there for each other and open to listening to each other’s problems. No one should have to suffer in silence.
If at any point, you feel completely overwhelmed with stress, it is crucial to seek professional help. Thousands of trained professionals and experts can help support you if you reach out to them.
Many organisations can offer you support and help you fight against stress too. Here are three organisations that you can contact right now:
Here is a full list of support lines and websites around the world for each country.
De-Stress with Dolma Perfumes & Colognes
We really believe that stress is at the centre of many dis-eases facing us in the modern age from skin conditions to gut issues – dealing with and managing stress is crucial. Fragrances are a great way to initiate calm. Use your favourite calming scent during stressful times to switch to a calmer more peaceful state of being.
Here are our favourite calming perfumes and colognes and in the spirit of the month want to offer you 10% off your next purchase – use code LIVECALM to get your discount!