Stress management is a fundamental tool to nurture optimal health in the modern world. Join us this Stress Awareness Month to explore 4 ways to wellbeing, to help you destress and regain your mental clarity.
Stress Awareness Month 2023
April is Stress Awareness Month, an annual opportunity to focus on, campaign around and raise awareness about stress.
Stress is a fundamental contributor to poor mental health, one of the biggest public health challenges we're faced with in the modern world.
So, raising awareness about the causes and impact of stress - as well as ways we can reduce it - can help us to pull together and tackle stress in a more proactive way.
The focus of this year's Stress Awareness Month is #ACTNOW - encouraging us all to take action about stress.
By going beyond a conversation and choosing to make tangible positive changes, we can harness the power of our actions to inspire and support others.
You can learn more about Stress Awareness Month 2023 and the #ACTNOW campaign below.
Stress & Wellbeing
Wellbeing is defined as being happy, healthy and comfortable. Rather than being separate things, these three determinants work in synergy as a sort of Holy Trinity of wellbeing! So, your health influences your comfort, which then affects your happiness and so on.
For most of us, wellbeing is a spectrum and where we are on that spectrum will vary day-to-day. Lots of things out of our control can impact our ability to achieve wellbeing – relationships, family, work, mental health – so it’s super important to make sure we are doing everything we can to support our own health, happiness and comfort.
One of the biggest obstacles to achieving wellbeing in the modern world is stress. If our body was a machine running at full throttle to promote overall wellbeing, stress would be a pesky cog somewhere in the mechanism - making the journey to wellness less smooth, and sometimes even impossible.
The good news is that building healthy habits to help manage stress can help to get this cog moving again, sin sync with the rest of your body to nurture better wellbeing.
4 Healthy Habits to Reduce Stress and Promote Wellbeing
As humans our biology is what makes us who we are, defining our physical and mental health to a great extent.
Because your body responds to the environment – what you expose it to – you have a certain amount of power to take control of your biology and promote wellbeing.
Not only will leading a healthy lifestyle help to promote the positive attributes of wellbeing, but it will also mean that you’re better equipped to deal with those things that are negatively impacting it - such as stress.
Incorporating these four simple healthy habits into your everyday life is a great first step on your journey to wellbeing.
1. Nourish your body and mind
We all know how important diet is to promote our physical health, but the food we choose to eat also has a massive impact on our mental health – and so overall wellbeing.
Here’s what you can do to help eat your way to wellness!
Eat Real Food – Real food is as close to nature as possible – minimally processed and full of goodness. Eating food which is as fresh as possible not only avoids the hidden nasties often found in processed foods, but also increases the bioavailability of the nutrients it provides. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious foods we should all be eating – be sure to include healthy fats, good quality grass fed meat and organic low carbohydrate vegetables.
Avoid Harmful Foods – Eating well is as much about avoiding harmful foods as it is including those which are good for us. When it comes to harmful foods the biggest perpetrators are refined and natural sugars, harmful fats, grains and fizzy drinks (even the diet versions!) Avoiding these will help you to manage your blood sugar levels, keep on top of cravings, promote gut health and avoid inflammatory-causing ingredients.
Treat Yourself – OK, we aim to lead a life that contains far more good foods than bad. But having said this, food is as much about socialising, enjoyment and satisfaction as it is nutrition. Treating yourself to your favourite wine, cheese or whatever tickles your pickle every now and then is not only good for your mood but will help you to stay on the right track in the long-term. If it is truly worth it, then do it – but save treats for extra special occasions that will be remembered forever.
2. Fine tune your sleep routine
Sleep is our body’s very own reset button, helping us to rest and recover at the end of each day – and wake up raring to go the following morning!
When we are asleep we make hormones, cells and memories; all massively important for our health, happiness, comfort and – you guessed it – wellbeing!
Here’s some top tips to help you get some quality shut eye.
Darken down your evenings – Switch off your laptop, put down your phone and avoid unnatural light for around two hours before you plan on sleeping. This helps your body to regulate levels of adenosine and melatonin, hormones which control the sleep-wake cycle.
Create a sleep-promoting environment – Embrace your inner Feng Shui guru and make your bedroom a place for organisation and comfort – not chaos! Your bedroom should be slightly cool, completely dark and free from clutter to help you drift off. This is all part of practicing good sleep hygiene, helping you to have a quality sleep and wake feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!
Take a hot bath – Think this is an old wives tale? Guess again! When we go to sleep our body naturally drops a few degrees in temperature. Taking a hot bubble bath (rubber ducks entirely optional) means that when you get out of the bath this temperature drop is mimicked, encouraging natural sleep…and super-soft skin!
3. Move More
There’s no denying the benefits of exercise for both physical and mental wellbeing.
Exercise releases mood-boosting endorphins, helps us to process stress hormones and reduces feelings of anxiety.
It’s also a great opportunity to set yourself goals, challenge yourself and spark a journey of self-improvement.
But it shouldn’t mean pushing your way through a crowd of gym bunnies to nab the last treadmill.
Here are some easy and simple ways to make moving more enjoyable.
Stay open-minded – Rediscover the joy of movement and forget needing a gym membership to get fit. Get outdoors for some adventure and exploration, ditch the equipment and use your own body as a weight or take five minutes in the kitchen to sneak some strength-training into your lunch break!
Make movement part of your everyday – One of the best ways to incorporate more movement into your life is to think about the things you do every day and how you could make them more active. So, park further away from the office, take the stairs over the lift and squeeze a short walk into your lunchbreak to elevate your activity levels with minimal impact on your routine.
Challenge yourself – Goal-setting works because it’s part of human nature to seek reward from a sense of achievement. Our very own Co-Founder Jeff completed an epic 50-mile multi-terrain race, made possible by years of training, conditioning, determination – and that end goal in sight! Having something to aim towards is one of the biggest motivators out there – so push the boundaries, dig deep and reach for the stars.
4. Proactively manage your stress levels
Last but certainly not least is stress. Stress is something we are exposed to regularly that can massively affect our wellbeing if not managed properly.
Sometimes the things that cause us stress are out of our control, but thinking of ways to manage how we cope with them can have an overall positive effect on our sense of wellbeing.
Here are some ways to limit the impact of stress on your health and happiness.
Get some me time – As humans our relationships with others are so important but they’re sometimes a source of emotional and mental stress. If you feel stress surfacing from your relationship with one person in particular, take some time out to enjoy your own company and get some space to think.
Take a social media break – Just as our relationships in real life can be a source of stress, so can their online counterparts. Social media has its pros and cons but it’s becoming apparent that too much of it can alter our expectations, give us a negative self-perception and leave us feeling lonely. Limit your time on socials, log out after a certain time or take a break altogether for a short while to stay on top of your socials.
- Practice mindfulness – One of the best ways to combat stress when it becomes overwhelming is to step back from the situation and practice mindfulness. This is a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety in which you focus on the environment around you – what you can see, hear, smell, taste - and think about where you are and what you are doing to take your mind off distressing thoughts. The more often you do this, the more routine and normal it becomes - and the more it helps you to stay happy and healthy.
The journey to wellbeing is one with many twists and turns – and a few potholes to stop you in your tracks for sure!
But understanding what wellbeing is and which aspects of life promote it, rather than inhibit it, is key to optimising your own wellbeing for a happier, healthier you.
All information provided on our website and within our articles is simply information, opinion, anecdotal thoughts and experiences to provide you with the tools to thrive.
It is not intended to treat or diagnose symptoms and is definitely not intended to be misconstrued for medical advice. We always advise you seek the advice of a trained professional when implementing any changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.
We do however recommend seeking the services of a trained professional who questions the conventional wisdom to enable you to become the best version of yourself.