Tips for managing stressed

Everyone experiences being stressed; it is a normal part of your life.

Its normal to feel stress or anxious during COVID-19 as it has had a major impact on all our lives. You may be facing various challenges during this time that can make you feel stressed, overwhelmed, anxious or uncertain.

Different things can make different people stressed, this might include a new baby, your toddler having a tantrum, not having control over your environment, or feeling isolated/lonely due to obeying government restrictions. Stress can affect you emotionally, mentally, and physically. You may feel overwhelmed, irritable your heart racing, your breathing can get faster, you may feel your muscles tensing up or exhausted, you may find it difficult to concentrate or make decisions, you can experience constant worrying or that you are snapping at people for no reason.

Symptoms of stress that you might be experiencing can include

  • Headaches

  • Lack of motivation

  • Feeling tired/burned out

  • Not sleeping

  • Not being able to concentrate

  • Feeling sad, uncertain, nervous

Our tips to help you manage your stress

Identify stress triggers

Before you can reduce your stress, you need to see what is triggering it. This can include screaming kids, bill being due or a stack of paperwork growing on your desk. Its undeniable these are all stressed situations. Sometimes it may be hard to determine what is causing your stress, in this case, write down anytime you are feeling anxious or most overwhelmed into a notebook. This might help you identify a pattern and then you will be able to find ways to eliminate or lessen the triggers.

Look after your body

Try to eat healthy, exercise regularly (any type of exercise is good to relieve stress and will help you sleep better), if you are out walking leave your phone at home, get plenty of sleep. If you are finding it hard to fell asleep at night, here are some tips to improve your sleep health. Be consistent, try to go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning (including on the weekends), do not use your mobile phone or watch tv instead read a book before bed and make your room dark, relaxing, and comfortable.

Make time for yourself

Make some time during the day to do things/activities you enjoy and are interested in. Write down a list for the week and tick it off as you do the activities. This can include little things such as reading, watching your favourite movie/series, having a bath, baking or having a cuppa while listening to music/a podcast.

Mediate to reduce your stress

Meditation can provide you with a sense of calm, peace, and balance. Sit somewhere in your house that is quiet, we know that this can be difficult when you have kids at home, but perhaps when they go to bed you can find some time. Close your eyes, relax, and concentrate on your breathing. If you mind wonders and something pops into your head, acknowledge it, and then allow it to leave your mind and try to draw your attention back to your breathing. If you find it hard to concentrate, there are many meditation apps available. You may find it easier to put in your earphones and listen to a person’s voice/sounds. Some of our favourites are Insight timer, Headspace, Fiton, Breathe and Calm.

Get stuff off your chest

It can be helpful to have a chat with someone if you are finding it hard to cope with your stress. Reach out to your partner, friend, family member or colleague with a phone call, video call or message. Taking the time to share how you feel and listen/support others will go a long way. Our favourite communicate platforms are Zoom, Google hangouts, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, all of which you can chose to have a voice or video call. It can be nice to plan a weekly call with your friends and have something to look forward to. 

Control your workload

Working from home while trying to home school your children or keeping your baby/toddler entrained, can be both stressful and hard. If work is making you feel stressed, try to avoid long hours and extra responsibilities, you are allowed to say the word “no” and this may be something you need to learn how to do. Its okay to explain that cannot take something on or to ask for help when you need it. Do not be afraid to ask your colleague to help you.

The HSE is offering free online stress control classes. These classes will cover different topics related to stress. Click here for more information.