Mental Health Week may be reaching its end but I thought I’d do a little post on my top tips for managing stress and anxiety. Diagnosed or not, these are two things that most of us will and even are experiencing in our day-to-day lives, so it’s important to recognise that and to help each other through these tough times.
So here are a few things that really help me manage and I hope they help you too!
1. Books –
I’m not the biggest reader but I am very interested in health and wellbeing books.
The Little Book of Mindfulness is small and handbag friendly! It has brief mindfulness techniques that you can do wherever you are – whether that’s taking a mindful walk or making a cup of tea mindfully, it teaches you to breath and to be present in the moment.
Calm is one of my absolute favourite books. Its wonderfully illustrated and covers all kinds of issues; from sleep and food to work and even children. So it’s a book for us all! Not only does the book have great detail and advice on the different subject matters, but there are also check-in pages for you to write down your feelings, pages for you to draw and colour-in and even to press a flower mindfully! It may sound strange but it’s not in the context of the book. It’s reallly great and really inexpensive, too, so I vote you go and treat yourself to it.
Here are some pages from Calm that I particularly like:
Mindfulness For Health is a great way to understand how to wind down and not to cling onto negative thoughts. Within this book, there is a 6 week mindfulness programme (and it comes with a CD, too). It’s called mindfulness for health as it focuses on stress and chronic pain issues in particular.
Sane New World was written by Ruby Wax who speaks of her experience with depression. Her comedy comes out within the book and it’s a great eye opener. Did you know she is now a trained psychotherapist?!
I basically love learning about mindfulness and other ways that we can attempt to take control of our thoughts and feelings and to really listen to our bodies. The books I’ve picked out here are particularly easy reads and have fun elements to them as well – apart from Mindfulness For Health, as that’s quite medical.
Reading is a great way to wind down and to take time out of our busy schedules and social media driven world!
2. Pamper –
Taking time for yourself is always needed. Whether it’s a long bath of an evening with a lush bath bomb and candles, or a ten minute face mask mid-week – what’s important is that the time is just for you to relax and feel good! If you struggle to fit in some ‘me’ time, I really suggest planning it in your diary and really trying to stick to it!
3. Yoga –
Ive recently reintroduced yoga into my life and I love it. It’s really great to learn how to focus on your breath and to move your body in ways that aid it (whether that be winding down, energising or strengthening). I do yoga in the comfort of my own home – YouTube is a great tool for being able to do this! This way, when you find you’ve got a spare 15 mins or you’re watching something on television you’re not even interested in, it’s perfect to get your yoga mat out and do some stretching.
It honestly makes you feel SO good afterwards.
Madeleine Shaw is a particular favourite yogi of mine – her voice is just so calming and her practice is beautiful.
4. Tidy room, tidy mind –
This couldn’t be more true for me. If I’m stressed and my environment is messy, it makes me even more stressed! There’s a sort of satisfaction from cleaning/tidying up and it’s almost as though physically tidying up, tidies my messy brain!
I have to admit, the tidiness of my bedroom has the most effect upon me. I can’t even have a messy bedside table if I’m really stressed. I don’t know if it’s because it’s directly next to where I sleep or what, but it’s just something I’ve noticed and that can be tackled quite quickly which is great.
I get that finding the motivation to tidy can be difficult but it’s definitely worth it, I promise you’ll feel better for it! So definitely look out for environments and things that make you feel more stressed.
5. Mindful colouring –
Release your inner child: buy yourself an adult colouring book, pick up some pencils and colour away! It sounds trivial but honestly I find this the perfect way to get lost completely in the moment. All stresses and negative thoughts disappear and I get lost in a world of colour.
That’s about it for my top tips for now. These are just a few things that help me manage my stress and anxieties. Even if these things don’t help you as much as they do me, please just remember it’s OK to experience these emotions.
The more we talk about it, the less of a taboo it will be. I always remember posters that were put up at secondary school that said ‘A problem shared is a problem halved‘ and it’s true, so don’t bottle things up, no matter how hard it may be to open up.
On that note, I wish you a stress-free week beauties.