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10 little ways to cut stress

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12-04-2024

It’s April and that can only mean one thing - it’s Stress Awareness Month. This year, the theme is ‘little by little’, and aims to highlight how making small but sustainable changes can add up to a significant change on your stress levels.

So, what's the big deal about stress? A survey of UK adults recently found that an incredible 75% have felt so stressed they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope.

Poor mental health including stress costs UK employers up to £45 billion a year, it is estimated, with work-related stress, anxiety or depression adding up to 17 million lost working days.

At LionHeart we see the impact of stress every day on the lives of surveyors who call us to ask for help. Last year, around 12% of all calls to our helpline were down to stress or other mental ill health.

Unchecked, prolonged periods of stress can lead to very serious mental health problems. But the good news is that people can do a lot to help themselves if they listen to their bodies and the early warning signs of stress. 

LionHeart's support team has compiled their top 10 small stress-busters - simple tweaks to your working day that can have a huge effect on your mental health. You're welcome...  

  1. 1. Go for a walk
    Exercise helps the body deal with stress, and gives you that all-important time away from work. Even a 15-minute lunchtime stroll can help.
  2. 2. Plan your day/ eat that frog!
    Know what needs to be done most urgently and try to deal with that first so you don't waste precious time. Our team can help you with better time management skills ??" and might even introduce you to eating the frog…
  3. 3. Make time for what you love
    All work and no play makes Jack and Jill dull. And stressed... Make sure you find time for your friends, family, and hobbies.
  4. 4. Think positive
    It sounds so simple, but it's a very effective way to 're-set' your brain. Try to focus on the positives rather than negatives, and notice little things that make you appreciative.
  5. 5. Take a deep breath

Concentrating on your breathing for a few minutes can really help calm your nerves. Think of it as a kind of desktop meditation. 

  1. 6. Laugh/ smile
    Taking a few minutes to have a chat or a joke with a colleague can lift your whole mood. The very physical act of smiling releases feel-good hormones.
  2. 7. Take screen breaks. Do it now!
    Move round the office, fetch a drink, walk the long way round to the loo or flex and relax your muscles. If you're at home, take five to empty the dishwasher or run up and down the stairs!
  3. 8. Cut down on the coffee
    (we wrote this with our fingers crossed...) Caffeine is a stimulant and if you drink too much of it the body reacts with the stress response, leaving you feeling jittery and increasing or even causing anxiety. Ditto alcohol.
  4. 9. Share your worries
    A trouble shared is a trouble halved, as they say. Sometimes talking to a friend or colleague may help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective. Alternatively, pick up the phone and speak to one of our support officers. They have helped many people just like you manage their stress better.
  5. 10. Listen to the LionHeart Talks podcast
    You can find a special episode on Overwhelm and Burnout over on the LionHeart Talks podcast.

 

  • If stress is starting to have a negative effect on your life, LionHeart has plenty of expert, one-to-one support available. Visit our?Managing Stress? page to find out more. 
  • You can also check out our upcoming webinars for health and wellbeing subjects.

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