1.     BREATHE

There are some wonderful breathing exercises out there that are designed to stop people from getting overly stressed, as this may lead to panic attacks. There’s an exercise that I was once taught in the Mindfulness component of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. I often use it and find it helps relieve my levels of stress. You start by sitting still, letting yourself feel
everything that is touching your skin, your jumper, your leggings, the fabric of the seat beneath you… And then – on both feet – scrunch up your toes and feel all of the muscles tighten in your feet, and then relax them. Move slowly up each of your body parts, tensing each muscle, being aware of it, and then releasing it. I find that it really helps to slow your breathing and bring yourself to the present when you’ve been stressing about what is coming – or what might be coming!


Limiting how much you ‘take on’ in life can be a huge aid in reducing stress! Personally, I find that any more than three things on my to-do list is too much! And please don’t just yourself on the amount that might be too much for you – if one is more than enough then that’s fine and if you can handle five then that’s fine too! If someone asks you to do
something and you already have too many things in your to-do pile then don’t be afraid to explain to them that you have plenty of work on at the moment and if there’s no deadline for what they’re asking of you, perhaps you can still do it. Limiting yourself doesn’t have to mean that you miss out on opportunities. And this is where prioritising comes in; it’s very useful to just check if anything you need to do has a deadline – if it does, then that’s what needs to go to the top of the pile. It’s hard though, when you might enjoy doing something else more but you have to remind yourself how stressed you will feel if you leave your deadline work to the last minute.

3.    TALK

Talking about feelings of stress and anxiety, can be really helpful in getting an outsider’s view on your situation. It might be that another person can help prompt you to look at things differently and see that perhaps things aren’t as busy as you thought. Or,
alternatively, the person could help you to improve aspects of your life that may help your feelings of stress. There’s been many times when professionals and my Mum have pointed out that perhaps lessening my workload a little would contribute to a less stressful life. Sometimes it’s useful to talk to others who can point out things that you may be storing in your subconscious.


You could also download the self help guide for stress from Northumberland, Tyne & Wear NHS Foundation Trust for free, here:

Tomorrow I’ll be showing you lots of people’s different replies to the question: ‘How do you cope with stress?’
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