Tips and strategies for managing stress

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If you’re struggling with stress then consider these tips:

  1. Get moving. Even a little regular exercise can help ease stress, boost your mood and energy, and improve your self-esteem. Aim for 30 minutes on most days, broken up into short 10-minute bursts if that’s easier.
  2. Practice a relaxation technique. Take time to relax each day and give your mind a break from the constant worrying. Meditating, breathing exercises, or other relaxation techniques are excellent ways to relieve stress and restore some balance to your life.
  3. Don’t skimp on sleep. Feeling tired will only increase your stress and negative thought patterns. Finding ways to improve your sleep during this difficult time will help both your mind and body.
  4. Boost your self-esteem. Rightly or wrongly, experiencing financial problems can cause you to feel like a failure and impact your self-esteem. But there are plenty of other, more rewarding ways to improve your sense of self-worth. Even when you’re struggling yourself, helping others by volunteering can increase your confidence and ease stress, anger, and anxiety. Or you could spend time in nature, learn a new skill, or enjoy the company of people who appreciate you for who you are, rather than for your bank balance.
  5. Eat well. A healthy diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and omega-3s can help support your mood and improve your energy and outlook. And you don’t have to spend a fortune; there are ways to eat well on a budget.
  6. Share your story. Turning a problem around and around in your head often leads to a dead end, or worse, increased feelings of stress and anxiety. You can help wrap your brain around a problem by sharing your story, which will give it a beginning, middle and an end. Sharing the weight of your thoughts with someone else, will help you reflect on it in a clearer and more logical way. Also consider writing your feelings down on paper. This can really help to rationalise how you are feeling.
  7. Stress bucket. A nice way to think about or stress is in the form of a ‘stress bucket’. We all have a stress bucket that is being dripped into with the many stressors around us. The key is to have an outlet for our stress, or our bucket will overflow, resulting in burnout, anxiety and overwhelm. You can put holes in your bucket by looking after yourself, practicing self-care, spending time with friends and family and focusing on the tips above. Remember you’re only human and there is only so much room in your stress bucket.

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