Stress Awareness: Here’s How To Say Goodbye To Burnout
Stress. Did anyone else just feel their blood pressure rise at the very mention of the word? Stress is something we all deal with and it can feel like it’s becoming more and more prevalent in a world that’s constantly plugged in.
Constant connectivity, demanding schedules and unending to-do lists can take their toll. Not just physically (seriously, could anyone else really do with a nap?) but mentally too.
Have you ever felt completely burned out, frazzled, and like you couldn’t form a coherent sentence at the end of a particularly draining day? That’s the effect of stress and you can probably agree it’s not a very nice way to live.
Get this: A Gallup study found that 44 per cent of employees say they suffer from stress and burnout sometimes. 23 per cent said they felt burned out and stressed more often than not.
We want to change that. This Mental Health Awareness Month we want to help you live your life in the most joyfully, positive way possible. Stress is a normal part of life, but it shouldn’t dominate your existence, so we want to give you the tools to deal with it when it rears its head.
How To Manage Stress
Learn how to identify it
Sometimes you can feel it in your shoulders, other times it manifests as a rising sense of panic. Sometimes you don’t realise it’s there until you get a pounding tension headache or you snap at a co-worker.
Stress makes the heart pound faster and releases the stress hormone cortisol that puts your body on high alert. The good news is, you can spot stress before it escalates.
Looking at your to-do list wondering how the hell you’re going to get everything done? That’s an early indicator of stress. Feeling consumed by a rush of negative thoughts? That’s another one.
If you have a busy day ahead, try checking in with your body at least every hour to see how it feels. Can you feel stress in any part of your body? If you can, take a break and focus on taking some deep calming breaths.
Here’s the cool thing: when you can learn to identify something it makes it so much easier to manage.
Are you a ‘yes’ girl? Do you often say ‘yes’ when you want to say no? Ever been called a people pleaser? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above (you see what we did there?) there’s a strong chance you tend to overcommit yourself.
When you overcommit, stress builds. You end up taking too much on, leaving little room for rest and relaxation. The solution is simple: Try including the word ‘no’ in your vocabulary and watch your world change.
Practice the Three Ds
Hold tight here, we’re about to blow your mind with this next sentence. Are you ready? Here it is…
You. Don’t. Have. To. Do. It. All.
Yep, that’s right. There’s a three-part rule for prioritizing and it instructs you to either do it, delegate it, or dump it. So, the next time you look at that anxiety-inducing to-do list, decide what you’re going to do, what you’re going to dump, and what you’re going to delegate to someone else.
If you’re still stuck, here’s a bonus: you can also choose to delay tasks that aren’t as urgent. It’s good to strike when the iron’s hot but not when that means doing 15 things at once. If moving things around helps you to feel less stressed, do it.
Self-care for stress? Ground-breaking. We know countering stress with self-care is nothing new, but hear us out. Is self-care something you do every day or only something you practice when you’re frazzled?
If it’s the latter it’s time to stop treating self-care as damage control, and start seeing it as something you do daily to help you function. Pop it on your daily to-do list and make it a priority, whether it’s carving out time in the evening to do something you love or nipping to the shop to buy yourself a bunch of flowers.
Regular self-care recharges and replenishes you and when you prioritise it you’re better equipped to deal with life’s little challenges.
Make it your mission to switch off
The internet is full of stressors. Whether it’s that controversial Twitter thread, a dreary news cycle or that Insta account that always makes you feel bad about yourself. When you’re tired and stressed, social media often isn’t the best place to be. And yet, at the end of a busy day our phones are often the first thing we reach for.
This one’s going to be tough, but when you’re stressed, we challenge you to resist the urge to grab your phone. Put it on flight mode or stick it in a drawer for 30 minutes if it helps and try sitting in silence for a while. Having zero distractions and absolutely nothing to do can be incredibly replenishing, so give it a go. Trust us, it works.
Have an anti-stress list
Let us ask you a question. What makes you feel really, really good? Like, could-take-on-the-world levels of good? Is it getting tucked up under the duvet in your favourite PJs with a good book? Planning your next trip abroad? Have a long hot soak in the bath? Enjoying a good old gossip over brunch with the gals? Or going to the gym? The answer to stress is simple: find what makes you happy and do more of it.
If it helps, make a list of all the activities that bring you joy so the next time you feel stress creeping in you can simply turn to your list and watch that stress melt away.
We don’t know about you, but we’re feeling less stressed already.