publication date: Nov 7, 2012
author/source: Anne Coates
We all suffer stress
from time to time. The key
is how we react to
with stressful situations.
Here are some tried and tested strategies
which you can use every day – not just on National Stress Awareness Day
– and all of them are free
commuting time to wind down
. Switch off thoughts about work but before you
start thinking about everything you have to do at home, listen to some music or
- if you're not driving - a relaxation tape, read a novel.2 Write lists
– they are a great way to
prioritise what you need to do and keep separate ones for work and home. Divide
the list into A - imperative, B - important and C - be nice if I have the time!
3 Clear clutter
nothing is more stress-inducing that searching through piles of papers/ clothes
or whatever for something you absolutely need right now!
deal with letters about your children as you receive them. Return any response slips the next day and
enter dates in your diary and calendar.
with the bills, don't let them accumulate. If you are having trouble paying
debts contact the lender straightaway to negotiate affordable repayment.
6 Constant worries
sometimes a problem just goes round and round in your head, here are two tried
and tested strategies:
7 Don't skip meals
- Think of a large number and keep taking away an
"awkward number" like 13 or 17. Most of us really have to concentrate on this
and it stops you focusing on the problem.
- Wear an elastic band on your wrist
and ping it every time unwanted thoughts enter your mind. Both the slight pain
and the distraction of the band help you refocus and reduce negative thoughts.
- eating healthily helps combat stress.
It's so easy to grab a snack that isn't nutritious and may leave you
feeling grumpy during the busy early evening with children. Have a piece of
fruit or a handful of almonds or Brazil nuts at about 4pm to keep you going.
8 Time out
if it's just a peaceful bath, take 20 minutes for yourself to relax and
recharge. Exercise is also a perfect way to unwind. Joining a class or making
regular arrangement with a friend helps you stick to the routine.
in a quiet place, or taking a walk in a park or the countryside can help reduce
stressful feelings. Clearing the mind for a short while has numerous benefits
including increased confidence and improved focus.
laughter is good for you so make sure you take time to play with your
children, enjoy time with your partner and friends. A strong social network improves your reaction to stress and stressful