The ‘S’ Word

Pretty sure I did a post on my old blog with this title, but reusing things is good for the environment so we’ll go with it!

I want to talk about stress.

We all feel it at some point, and some suffer more than others. This time of year is peak stress-season, so I thought that now would be as good a time as any to talk about it.

As I said, we all suffer from stress differently. To some of us, it might be a little niggle at the back of our minds, but for others of us, it can take over our lives.

Stress is important to talk about. If we keep it locked up inside us, it can build up and then has the potential to explode at any given time. This is so unhealthy for our mental health. Instead of letting stress build up and up inside us, we should talk about it. Whether you chat to your parents, a friend or teacher, just pick someone and chat to them. Whatever you do, don’t keep the feelings trapped inside.

I get stressed fairly easily, so I thought I’d share a couple of bits of tips that have worked for me.

‘Me Time’

This is one of the most important things I can tell you. It doesn’t matter how much work you have to do, you need to make time for yourself. Do your nails, watch the football, write your blog, go for a walk… just do an activity that you enjoy. I don’t know the science or psychology behind this, I just know that when you do something that you enjoy, it makes you feel happy and so will ease your stress levels. If you need to be sociable, be sociable. If you would rather spend time by yourself, people will understand.

Sleep

Again, this is extremely important. Make sure you get plenty of sleep every night. Young adults aged 18-25 are supposed to need 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Without this, we are more likely to be grumpy, but also to have less energy during the day. This can affect our concentration, and potentially cause more stress!

Not only this, but also make sure to give yourself time to wind down before bed. It is recommended that half an hour before you go to sleep, all sources of blue light are turned off in order to help you get better quality sleep. So phones, laptops and TVs away, why not try reading for a bit, or just putting some quiet music on and listening to that as you drift off to sleep. If you find it harder to get to sleep, maybe try having a warm shower before bed, and a hot drink such as Horlicks or hot chocolate. A friend of mine likes to have a glass of milk before she goes to sleep, you could always try that?

Exercise

This will probably sound quite strange, but scientists have proven that exercise can help your mental wellbeing. (For proof of this in action, I would recommend watching the BBC’s Mind Over Marathon which is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.)

I know that from personal experience, when I am stressed, a good workout at the gym or a long walk in the fresh air can make the world of difference. It releases endorphins in your brain which make you feel happier and more energetic. So why not try just ten minutes to half an hour of exercise every day and see what difference it makes. Quite often we might use the excuse that we don’t have enough time to exercise. However, if we got rid of that half an hour or so we spend on social media every morning, we would have plenty of time to exercise!

Eat Well

There are many ways of interpreting this, so I’m gonna leave it up to you to decide what you want it to mean!

During times of stress, its really important that you look after yourself. Make sure you eat three meals a day and snack if you need to. Whatever you do though, as long as you eat well for your body is the most important thing. So if you want to eat an 800g slab of chocolate in one sitting, go for it! If you’d rather eat a full tub of hummus in one sitting instead, you do that. Whatever makes you happy, do it.

So there we have it. My top four tips to help look after yourself during times of stress. Remember to take time to sit back and relax. Take deep breaths and remind yourself that you’ve got this. Because you do, and everything will be fine.

Just please, don’t let yourself become overwhelmed with stress. Make sure to talk to someone about your stress, rather than bottling it all in.

I really hope this was helpful, please leave a comment below if you have any self-care suggestions for when you get stressed. Let’s all help each other out here!

Until next time,

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