Write It Down
Similarly, getting your thoughts down on paper can help you to work through your worries and figure out the reasons for why you’re feeling a certain way. It offers a great sense of perspective and can help you to drag nagging worries out from the whirlpool of thoughts inside your brain. After all, many of our stresses stem from irrational thoughts, but it’s hard to realise this until it’s staring you in the face!
Do Something Fun
Sometimes we all take life a little too seriously. It’s important to switch out of serious work mode on a regular basis to go out and have some fun. Whether that’s spending time with a friend or skipping the evening news to watch a comedy show instead - laughter truly is the best medicine!
Swap Coffee for Herbal Tea
Although many of us rely on coffee to wake us up and power us through back to back meetings or a never-ending to do list, your daily flat white habit might be doing you more harm than good. If you’ve ever experienced jitters, a racing heart, headaches or a lack of focus after drinking too much coffee, it won’t be a surprise. In fact, a review by Stefan G Hofmann et al. showed a strong correlation between high caffeine intake and increased feelings of insomnia and anxiety. So, if you’re feeling particularly agitated or stressed, try to reach for a herbal tea or decaffeinated beverage instead.
Talk To Someone
Cliché it might be, but there’s truth in the saying; a problem shared is a problem halved! It’s important not to shy away from talking about your stresses with someone you trust, whether that’s a friend, partner or even a professional. They’ll likely be able to help you figure out a solution, or at the very least offer a safe space for you to get your worries off your chest, allowing you to feel less alone.
If your symptoms of stress are becoming too difficult to manage, we recommend speaking to a professional for advice. Or, check out the NHS-recommended mental health charity, Mind, for a vast array of online resources & in-person support services across the UK.
Prioritise Giving Back
It might sound counterintuitive to give up some of your precious time when you’re already feeling stressed but doing something – no matter how small –to help someone else can help to put your own problems into perspective. Whether that’s volunteering at your local community project or even just helping your Grandma with her shopping. An article by leading UK mental health charity, SANE, suggests a whole host of benefits you might feel, from increasing social interactions, to providing a sense of purpose and achievement.
Synonymous with meditation, the idea of mindfulness – the practice of training your mind to be in the present moment - can be intimidating to some. But it doesn’t have to involve ‘ommm-ing’ in a dark room with a bunch of strangers (unless you enjoy that!). Mindfulness can encapsulate a whole host of different activities that are both enjoyable and allow your mind to clear. That might be drawing, cooking, getting lost in a good book, or even listening to music and taking a few deep breaths. With vast and impressive benefits including improved sleep and decreased symptoms of anxiety, it’s sure to be worth dedicating just 10-20 minutes of your day to your mindful practice of choice.
 A randomised controlled trial of dietary improvement for adults with major depression (the 'SMILES' trial). Jacka FN, O’Neil A, Opie R et al. BMC Med (2017): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28137247
 The association between fruit and vegetable consumption and mental health disorders: Evidence from five waves of a national survey of Canadians. Seanna E McMartine, Fdelice N Jacka, Ian Colman. (2013) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.12.016
 “Cognitive enhancers for anxiety disorders.” Hofmann, Stefan G et al. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behaviour vol. 99,2 (2011): 275-84. doi:10.1016/j.pbb.2010.11.020
 “Mindfulness-based stress reduction for healthy individuals: A meta-analysis” Bassam Khoury, Manoj Sharma, Sarah E. Rush, Claude Fourniere. (2015). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2015.03.009