Try six tips to lower your stress levels in these challenging times
It is fair to say we are all being pushed to our limits after recent months.
When our stress levels rise our health can suffer, so here are six tips from on how you can feel a little calmer from Claire Moore, personal trainer and founder of the award-winning Believe & Achieve UK Women’s Gym in Sheffield.
We often start a new year with great plans and, while it is great to set goals, it is important to acknowledge that right now, we are in very challenging times and avoid putting too much pressure on ourselves. Shift your expectations to focus on getting through this time and keeping yourself and your family safe and happy.
Avoid the news
It is all a bit doom and gloom right now and hearing it over and over again can put us on edge.
While it’s helpful to stay informed, constantly checking the latest headlines can increase anxiety. Limit the number of times you check the news and distract yourself with things that make you feel good such as your favourite music or laugh-out-loud films.
We are so cut off right now it is vital we make even more effort to keep in touch with family, friends, colleagues. Even if we cant be in the same room we can reach out and talk to people. Video calls are a great plan B and give us the opportunity to be as close to people as we can at the moment.
Find hobbies you enjoy
We maybe can’t get to our usual clubs and activities, but it is vital we have something to look forward to each week. Many clubs have been able to move online, whether is it exercise or learning a skill, and focusing on your favourite hobby, relaxing and connecting with others can help with anxious thoughts and feelings.
Keep to a routine
For many lockdown has messed up any sort of structure or routine which can add to our stress levels. By sticking to the same get-up time, mealtimes and bedtimes it can help us feel a little bit of normality in among all the chaos.
Ok, I know it sounds ridiculous telling you to breathe but bear with me. Even though we do this without thinking, it tends to be very shallow which can send a message to your brain that we are anxious. By taking time to slow our breathing down with big, deep belly breaths we tell our brain that everything is ok and our cortisol and adrenaline levels lower, helping us feel calmer within minutes.
If you are really struggling, please reach out for professional help and get the support you need.
In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor