The month of April is Stress Awareness month, and I think being aware of stress and how to deal with it is so important at the moment. We are living through extremely stressful, worrying times, with many people worried about health issues, financial issues or the stress of missing friends and family. I don’t think there are many people who have not been affected in some way by the current pandemic. All this worry can lead our bodies to be exposed to long term stress which can be very detrimental to both our mental and physical wellbeing and can leave us feeling exhausted but can also dampen our immune systems. The good news is, there are some easy things we can to help reduce our feeling of stress in these worrying times.
Eating a good health diet of unprocessed foods, with lots of fruit and vegetables can really help our bodies deal with stress.
Drinking plenty of water has lots of health benefits. It can reduce the number of headaches we have, increase our energy levels, improve our bowel function and mental concentration and reduce sugar cravings.
Reflexology is a gentle complementary therapy which has been proven to reduce stress and promote feelings of wellbeing. Many of my clients certainly experience the beneficial effects and find it very effective in reducing both the feelings of stress and the troublesome physical symptoms that can be worsened by stress such as migraine, IBS, insomnia and chronic fatigue symptoms.
It’s been shown that spending time in nature can really reduce our stress levels. This can be a stroll in the woods, but this might be difficult for anyone having to isolate at the moment. If you have access to a garden, just spending time out there can be just as beneficial.
Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress. At the moment gyms are closed, but there are lots of other things we can still do. Walking or cycling in the country, or doing some exercise at home. This could be dancing, yoga or one of the many on-line exercise classes available. The main thing is do something you enjoy and have fun!
Try a hobby or interest you enjoy
This can be pottering in your garden, or doing a bit of knitting or baking a cake. The main thing is it’s something that you enjoy and you find it relaxing.
It can be hard with the current restrictions, but staying in touch with friends and family is more important than ever. Many people are isolating, which can also be really lonely. It could be phone calls or zoom calls, but keeping in touch, gives us a support network and lets us talk about how we might be feeling.
Try to reduce watching the news and social media
We obviously want to be informed about the current situation, but maybe just watch one news bulletin, then go and do something else. We can watch news 24/7 at the moment and this can increase our feelings of stress. Similarly, if you find your social media feed is full of negative news, maybe think about limiting the amount of time you spend on it.
Be kind to yourself
Don’t put unrealistic expectations on yourself of what you should be doing, or make comparisons to what others are doing. If you don’t come out of lockdown having learned three new languages, or being able to bake like Mary Berry it really doesn’t matter!
Wishing everyone stays safe, healthy and happy in these difficult times.
Cheshire Clinical Reflexology