How can we create our own ‘stress’ vaccine?
Last week I gave a talk to a business about ‘Stress in the Workplace’ and how stress and anxiety can affect us all in some way. Especially as we have all experienced some form of extra ‘worry’ during the last two years with the pandemic. Unfortunately there isn’t a double vaccine and a booster jab to keep us safe from stress.
At the end of the talk I gave them a list of about 20 different things they could do to ease stress. None of them were rocket science, none that we haven’t all heard before, nothing particularly ground breaking. Basically a lot of common sense. But by doing these things it is the closest we can get to having our own personalised vaccine against stress.
BUT … we rarely do these things. They are all very simple things to do, but they are often not that easy to do on a regular basis. Sometimes it’s because we just forget to do them or because we are too busy with our hectic lives but mainly because we are TOO STRESSED to want to do them.
However if we did just a few of these things on a regular basis it would be the equivalent of having a ‘stress’ vaccine / booster shot!
ask yourself the ‘scaling’ question
When clients come and see me I often ask them a scaling question – ‘On a scale of 1-10 how are you feeling today?’ with 1 being absolutely awful, low, almost ‘what’s the point?’ and 10 being full of energy, loving life and feeling amazing.
Wouldn’t it be great to feel 10 all the time? But that’s not always possible as life will always throw us something unexpected that we have to cope with. But if we are feeling 5 or above then we are in a much better place to handle all the ups and downs of life.
So it’s really important to stay above the midway point, and if we feel ourselves slipping to give ourselves a ‘booster shot’ to push us back up again. What we want to avoid is feeling below a 5 for prolonged periods of time because it’s even more of a struggle to do the things that will give us that boost. When that happens, it’s very easy to sink even lower. It then becomes an uphill battle and those simple ‘booster’ things just feel way too hard to do.
SO WHAT ARE THESE VERY SIMPLE BUT NOT SO EASY THINGS TO DO…???
1. Have some structure or routine to your day / week.
2. Get out into nature as often as you can.
3. Develop a good bedtime routine.
4. Make sure you are connecting with friends and family on a regular basis.
5. Practice simple breathing techniques.
6. Listen to a meditation app.
7. Take some form of exercise even if it’s just going for a walk.
8. Focus on what you can control.
9. Express gratitude for what is good in your life.
10. Do something creative or a hobby that you love – where time just disappears.
11. Set yourself a challenge or a goal.
12. Have an accountability buddy so you can encourage each other.
13. Practice self care – do something just for you.
14. Switch off from too much social media and connect with real people.
15. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone and ask for help if you need it.
If you just did a couple of these things on a regular basis you would be creating your own vaccine against stress and living above that midway point.
Remember if you would like to find out more about implementing any of these small changes, or you feel you have dropped down low on that scale of 1-10 please reach out and get in touch.