April is officially Stress Awareness Month, a campaign that has taken place every April since 1992. However you might try to avoid it, unfortunately, stress in some cases is completely unavoidable! Stress is a natural defence mechanism of our bodies.
But what is the cause of stress? It can be caused by relationships, global issues, health issues or even work, but this can be different for everyone depending on their circumstances.
To help combat stress, we at Navy have pulled together some of our top self-care tips to help...
Prioritise your health - So many people aren't tuned into their bodies so they forget to think about their health and they don't realise the effect that stresses and bad well-being is having on them physically. The best small steps to start prioritising your health are by getting enough sleep and waking up earlier, eating enough and often (remember that food is fuel!), staying hydrated and taking time to relax your mind by taking regular breaks.
Getting a good night's sleep - Sleep is so so important for your health and is actually just as important as eating and exercising. Getting enough sleep will stop you from getting ill as frequently, it helps you relax, improves your memory and puts you at lower risk of heart disease and strokes.
Have a positive mindset - Research has found that our state of mind can also have a strong impact on our physical health. Having a positive mindset, taking time to step back from a situation and taking a moment to analyse it, is one of the best ways to reach a more positive state of mind. We know it's easier said than done but once you start getting into a routine and practising this, the more natural it will come to you.
Set boundaries - Learn to say the word 'no'. We are all guilty of this, of biting off more than we can chew for a number of reasons, but by taking on more than we can manage we are only hurting ourselves. It's so important to recognise your own boundaries and what you can and can't manage, this way it will be easier to say no without the guilt that comes with it.
Time management - Learn how to manage your time. Without managing your time, you are more likely to become stressed and overwhelmed and your efficiency will decline. Set yourself a timetable or utilize your phone calendar, this way you have more control of your life and you are more organised and prepared.
Move your body - When your body is in a state of stress, it's expecting some kind of physical activity. One way to take more control over your stress levels is by giving your body what it wants. Do something to get your body moving, this could be going for a walk, a run, a swim or even some gentle stretches.