It’s been a very stressful week. The Royal Baby arrived and waiting to find out his name was like waiting for someone to cross the road, LONG AND PAINFUL (by the way, a thank you nod would be appreciated). And don’t get me started on the whole Cersei and Missandei sitch.
It was a wrong-side-of-the-bed kind of week. But I learnt something valuable; I handle stress just like I handle the smell of tuna– not well.
So when I broke down at the end of Game of Thrones episode 4, I knew I had to manage stressful situations better. To be fair, if you didn’t cry, you’re HEARTLESS! Sorry, it’s the stress talking I promise. But seriously, the dragon? And you didn’t shed one tear?
Moving on. These are my 5 top tips on how to manage stress more simply and effectively:
1. There Is Always A Solution
OK, your boss has just asked you to put the figures in an excel spreadsheet. You’re totally freaking out because on your resume you said ‘proficient in excel’ and now the time has come that you never thought would arrive and you’re certainly not proficient in excel. Take a deep breath, ask a colleague for help or look up a YouTube tutorial on how to do it. Remember, in any stressful situation, there is always a solution!
2. Practice Mindfulness
Let’s be honest; when we think about mindfulness, we go straight to the stereotype of a celery-juice-drinking hippy who haaaas to mention they’ve been to India.
However, you don’t have to be an accredited yogi to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness means paying attention and being aware in the present moment. We tend to get distracted by our surroundings; mindfulness helps by allowing you to concentrate on the here and now. I recommend trying breathing techniques or downloading Headspace or the Smiling Mind app to get you started.
3. Phone A Friend
I recently called my friend after I encountered a stressful situation. I slipped over in aisle six at Coles, even though there was a bright-yellow coloured, ‘Slippery When Wet’ sign displayed. Yep, I saw it and chose to ignore it. Pro tip: never ignore signs.
I ran out of the shop mortified. I knew that CCTV of my awkward descent was probably going to end up on YouTube, titled ‘dumb blonde falls in aisle six’.
I called my friend, and her words of wisdom calmed me down. Moral of the story is, it is slippery when wet and phone a friend in stressful times!
4. Don’t Overthink It
I’m one of those people that looks up the menu before going to a cafe. Sue me. I also plan crying schedules to align with times of need, like Monday mornings. But this very rational behaviour got me thinking…maybe I’m overthinking.
When we overthink, it makes everything feel like a high-pressure situation. Take a step back and let the chips fall where they may!
I know. I know. Its why I left it to number 5 (tactical I know). But who doesn’t feel great after exercise? I’m not saying you should go smash out 100 burpees, because burpees cause me more stress than life itself, but find something you actually enjoy! It might be going for a run with your best friend, or booking a spontaneous salsa class.
Exercise doesn’t have to be f45-sweat-til-you die, it’s about choosing something that’s right for you. Try and focus on doing exercise for your mind, not your body.
There you have it, five tips that will give you a perfect stress-free life! OK, that’s a lie. But even by putting one of these tips into practice means you’re one step closer to lessening the stress in your life.
And remember, stress is like a ‘Slippery When Wet Sign’– avoid it, and you fall, acknowledge it, and you’ll stand strong.
This article is dedicated to the Love Me Love You Foundation Australia which aims to educate people of all ages on the stigma surrounding mental health. Front and Centre is delighted to be associated with the work of this incredible charity.
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