Stress affects most of us at some point in our lives, whether it’s through work or at home, physical or mental, stress can impact us all. With April being Stress Awareness Month there has never been a better time to refresh your body and mind, so here are 15 simple ways you can de-stress.

18 Ways You Can De-stress

Firstly, take a moment to put together a daily routine for your week. It doesn’t have to be robust, but it should give you a sense of direction and help you stay on track for the next 7 days.

Your family is number one

Your family are the most important thing in the world. Jobs will come and go, friends may move away and not always be around, but your family will always be there with you, especially in your toughest moments.

Speak to them regularly, visit brothers, sisters, parents, and extended family if you can on a weekly basis.

Arrange weekly meet-ups with your friends

Your friends are a close second to your family. Set aside time each week to meet up with a friend, or friends, for some food and a chat!

Real friends will be able to bring a smile to your face without doing anything, so take some time out of your week to laugh and have fun.

Set aside ‘me time’

Take an hour in the day or before bed to spend some precious time with yourself. Just you, and a book, or your favourite TV show. It’s not always possible, but even 15 minutes alone to relax and do nothing can be the perfect stress buster!

Accept you can’t control everything

It’s simple, there will be things that happen in your life that you won’t be able to control. Don’t fall into a trap of trying to control every little aspect of your life as it is one of the easiest ways to push your stress levels through the roof!

Tidy and de-clutter your house or office

Take a few minutes out of your day to de-clutter your office desk or your house. When you’re working in organised surroundings your mind will be at ease, and you’ll feel a lot more relaxed.

Find a new hobby, or start doing an old one again

If you currently don’t do a hobby you should start one. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it interests you and you enjoy doing it! The easiest way to find your hobby is to rekindle your love for a sport or game you played when you were younger, or at school.

Physical Activity & Health

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It’s important to stay physically active and healthy. Here are some basic ways you can de-stress through physical exercise!

Get outdoors every day

The great outdoors are the best place to get away from everything. Go for a big, long walk – ideally in the countryside, or a forest – and breathe in the fresh air! Clear your head and get some physical exercise whilst doing it.

Practice deep breathing

Slow down your heart rate and relax by taking a few deep breaths. If you’re at work this is a really handy tool to try, especially before and after a potentially stressful meeting!

Take scheduled power naps

If you already take power naps that’s perfect, continue to do so as they’re great for giving you a boost in energy. If you struggle or don’t like sleeping during the day, give them a try. Research shows a nap between 20-30 minutes is as good as a night’s sleep in some cases!

Begin meditating

Meditation is often the number one tip given to people who want to de-stress. It is quite difficult to get used too, and even more difficult to find a quiet space in a crazy household with kids running around, but it’s worth it!

Set aside 15 minutes in the morning to meditate, it’s a great start to the day.

Start exercising regularly

Regular exercise is one of the best ways to boost your happiness and de-stress in the long term. Going for 2-3 runs every week, or joining a gym and going on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday is a very effective way of beating off that unwanted stress!

Stay positive

Having a negative outlook on life can go hand-in-hand with stress. If you feel like things aren’t going your way it is very easy for you to then get stressed out, so try to push any negative thoughts you have out the window.

Stretch or do yoga

Stretching every hour is a super way of avoiding stress, particularly in the workplace. Stand up, stretch your back, legs, neck and shoulders. It only takes 2-3 minutes but you’ll feel great after doing it.

Dietary & Lifestyle

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Keeping an eye on your diet is generally a good idea, but not many people realise that it can have an impact, negative or positive, on your mental health. Try to follow these tips for more ways you can de-stress.

Go easy on the sugar

Eating lots of sugar can cause mood swings and inconsistent energy levels, both of which don’t bode well for some who is already stressed out. Stick to some fruit each day and avoid crisps, biscuits, and chocolate bars.

Drink green tea instead of coffee

Coffee is great in the morning, but drinking more than 3 or 4 cups a day can be very bad for your health. Try replacing your coffee with green tea. Not only is it generally good for you, it will give you that energy boost like coffee does, without the 6pm crash!

Cut out smoking and binge drinking

This goes without saying, smoking and alcohol and not doing you any favours if you are trying to battle stress. Stop smoking altogether and try to limit the alcohol to a glass of wine with your dinner at the weekend. If you are trying to quit smoke, check out this alternative smoking products like glass & water pipes.

Eat lots of greens & mood boosting foods

Leafy green foods (kale, spinach, broccoli, lettuce, cabbage etc.) are some of the most nutritious foods around. Add these to your meals whenever you can, they’ll fill you up as well!

Introduce some whole nuts (unsalted/unflavoured) into your diet, they boost your metabolism and contain healthy fats which stabilise your energy levels, aiding to the de-stressing of your body.

Drink plenty of water

Last, but certainly not least, drink loads of water! No tricks, nothing added to it; just clean, plain water. The benefits of water are endless, and staying hydrated can help you remain calm and focused.

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