Feeling stressed out? Who isn’t! Despite the fact that the term "stress" as a psychological state is a relatively new concept, it is very much a part of our everyday conversation now. And never so much as in the past twelve months!
We know that some elements of stress are positive; it can be the catalyst that motivates us, makes us feel excited or gives us that sharp focus needed to complete a task. But long-term negative stress, that feeling of not being able to cope with external pressures or hardship, can lead to exhaustion and general ill-health.
So what can we do to ward off the wrong kind of stress? Try these little daily tips:
- Start your day right: Terrie McEvoy is encouraging us all to be up, washed and dressed by 9 am. I love this because it makes you feel fresh and ready for the day ahead and also give the postman a break from seeing us in our dressing gowns!
- Put your phone in quarantine: I saw someone recently say they are in a new habit of putting their phone in a drawer for an hour throughout the day so that they don't keep checking it when they should be doing other things. Yes to this. It helps you to focus on what you should be doing and stops the mindless scrolling. There's a place for that. It’s called the bath.
- Get a grip on the housework: And by that, I don’t mean get on with the housework, I mean get over the housework! Yes it’s great to see so many people online with their perfect houses. But, in reality, it's never, ever done, is it? Give yourself one or two things to do every other day, and if you get to it, great. If you don’t, leave it to another day. If it’s the sock basket, leave it until forever!
- Hello H2O: If you follow the hilarious Jonathan from Queer Eye on Instagram, you will get constant brilliant reminders to stay hydrated. Let’s face it, we all need reminding. Letting your water intake slip can result in rubbish skin, lethargy and headaches; all of which can make you feel even more stressed.
- Exercise: Get it whatever way you can and release those happy hormones. Walk around the block a few times, do any of the hundreds of online exercise classes that are now available, get up and down the stairs, use a bottle of wine in each hand as a dumbbell. Please note: wine bottles must be full at the time of exercise.
- Treat yourself: Nowhere to go right now doesn't mean you can't feel like you are ready to run to Ibiza as soon as you are allowed. Do a little beauty job - paint your toenails, stick on some tan, pop a colour in your hair (Bleach London have an amazing range of shampoos and conditioner colours). And then maybe pack a bag... just in case.
- Be silly: All this lockdown malarkey can make things feel very serious in our minds, but we are still here and we still deserve to find happiness in our own small way each day. Why not stick on a sparkly dress just because it's Monday; get the kids out after dark to look at the stars; watch fun shows together like The Masked Singer or Junior Bake Off; or, our favourite, push the table back and just have a random boogie on the kitchen "dancefloor". Your happiness is there for the taking, so grab it with both hands.