It’s time to kick your feet up and take a day to completely de-stress. In today’s busy world, people aren’t often able to catch their breath and find a moment to themselves to unwind, so it’s no surprise that many Australians are experiencing some form of stress in their lives.
Stress can be incredibly detrimental to human health. It can lead to chronic headaches, weight problems, insomnia, elevated blood pressure and can also make sufferers more vulnerable to disease. That is why the message of Stress Down Day to “stress less” is such an important one.
iiNet are getting into the spirit of Stress Down Day by treating staff to healthy snacks, blood pressure and heart rate checks and letting them dress down in something comfy for the day (PJs accepted!). While enjoying these little treats, we also want our staff to take this day as an opportunity to think about stress and mental health.
Let’s Talk About Stress
Are you currently experiencing stress? You’re not alone. One survey showed approximately 1 in 3 Australians were experiencing significant levels of distress in their life. Common sources of prolonged or severe stress are work, finances and relationships, or one-off traumatic events like the death of a loved one. These stresses are affecting physical and mental health, and yet 51% of sufferers do not seek help for their stress.
In a world where we’re constantly exposed to perfectly manicured snapshots of people’s lives on social media, it is easy to feel isolated when experiencing stress. If everyone else is handling things so well, then so should we. This could be why people choose to ignore the symptoms, eventually leading to complete burnout.
So don’t ignore the signs of stress. Take action with a few of these helpful tips.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Who doesn’t feel better after a long rest? If you’re running on empty, you’re going to be much more likely to burn out. You may be tempted to pull a late night when you have an exam or a big report due the next day, but studies have shown that sacrificing sleep for study actually leads to a poorer performance the next day. No one performs at their best when they’re fatigued so make sure to refuel with 8 hours sleep a night
If you’re anything like me, exercise is the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling stressed, but it can actually be the best thing for you. Though you might not feel motivated to run a marathon, even a brisk walk around the block can help clear your mind and make you feel better. So lace up those trainers and do something good for your mind and your body.
Stress can bring out the binge eater in the best of us. But while crunching through a whole bag of chips might make bring temporary comfort, overindulging on junk food is going to make you feel worse in the long run. A healthy, nutritious diet gives you the energy you need to tackle the hurdles you’re facing and cooking a healthy meal can be therapeutic and rewarding.
When you’re under stress you might not feel like you have any time to help others, but small gestures of kindness can actually reduce your stress levels. Everything from holding a door for a stranger to volunteering for a local charity can feel rewarding and improve overall mental health and help you feel less stressed.
Take Some Time for Yourself
How often do you take the time to just stop and smell the roses? When we are constantly busying ourselves in work, study, chores and relationships, we may neglect to take time just for ourselves. The world may make you feel like you need to be constantly on the go, but you deserve a break every now and then. You can try meditation, or just sit and watch the world go by for a little while. I find the beach to be especially therapeutic, spending time just listening to the waves rolling up on the shore.
We all need help at some time in our lives and shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for it. Talk to your family and friends, or seek professional help from a GP or counsellor if stress is taking a toll on you.
What are some of your stress management tips? Let us know in the comments below.