3 articles Articles posted in Stress

4 Ways To Reduce Stress & Enjoy Life

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Life is short and each day is a gift. Therefore, you don’t want stress holding you back from living life to the fullest and enjoying your days.

There are four ways, in particular, that will help you reduce stress so you can put a smile back on your face. When you feel good you’ll be happier and won’t let every little issue that pops up get to you. These ideas will help shift you into a better place and allow you to get back to enjoying your life and being someone others want to be around.

1.    Exercise

Exercise and daily physical activity are some of the most important activities you can do if you want to reduce stress and be happy. Break a sweat to help you reduce anxiety and stop your mind from racing. Mix up your workout routine so you don’t become bored easily and are challenging different muscles. You’ll not only boost your mood and mental health but you’ll also get yourself into good shape so you feel confident about the way you look. Your clothes will fit, you’ll have more natural energy, and you’ll be enjoying life more.

2.    Get Outside

You can reduce stress and enjoy life by spending more time outside. Being outdoors in nature is an excellent opportunity to release tension and negative emotions and refocus your mind and energy. There are many activities you can do such as using your tractor to tackle some yard work or you can take your boat out for a cruise on the water. In either case, you should check the red diesel price per litre so you know how much you’ll need to spend to power this type of equipment. You’ll quickly be enjoying life as you soak up the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air as you work or play outdoors.

3.    Spend Quality Time with Friends & Family

It’s also important to maintain and nurture your relationships if you want to be happy and feel less stressed out. Being social will make you smile and you’ll likely soon be laughing when you’re hanging out with good friends or your family members. Call a friend up to get coffee or to go shopping or have a movie and game night with your loved ones. Get out of the house and socialise so that you can boost your mood and enjoy life.

4.    Find A Hobby  

All work and no play will make you feel anxious and overwhelmed. Therefore, reduce your stress and start enjoying life by finding a hobby you can do in your free time. For example, maybe it’s playing sports, learning photography, or painting and being artistic. It doesn’t matter what hobby you pick up as long as you find it pleasurable and it makes you feel good about yourself. You may even discover new talents or abilities you never knew you had and might consider turning your hobby into a career one day. Have fun learning and growing and challenging yourself in new ways.

Lockdown Stress and Ways to Deal With It

For many of us, life has gone back to normal in many ways. The kids have gone back to school, places are slowly starting to reopen and there’s a sense that things are getting better. People are learning how to stop worrying about the future. However, when I say “many of us”, I don’t actually mean me! Both kids are still home from school; in fact neither has been since 12th March 2020 and we’re homeschooling Sausage permanently from now on. Lockdown stress is still looming large!

We still don’t leave the house for anything other than shopping and medical appointments, we still wash all groceries and parcels that come into the house, still wear masks, distance ourselves from other people. We’re missing family like mad, but we just don’t feel like it’s worth letting our guards down just yet. Imagine isolating ALL THIS TIME and then catching COVID at the eleventh hour? I doesn’t bear thinking about.

Being indoors all this time means we’ve all needed to find our own ways to entertain ourselves and cope with the situation so that the lockdown stress doesn’t completely engulf us. For Sausage, it’s been all about anime, reading fan fiction, drawing and chatting to her friends. Burrito Baby has found happiness in reading Harry Potter and creating some epic worlds in Minecraft. Husband plays Call of Duty online and I’ve been listening to audiobooks, cross-stitching and baking to keep my mind off of everything.

With this in mind, I thought I’d share some tips for you to follow if you need help with avoiding stress, decompressing when you feel overwhelmed or just generally helping to pass the time if you’re still isolating at home:

Try a New Hobby

If you’re anything like me, there’s a list of things as long as your arm that you’ve said you’d like to try, but always punctuate it with “…but I never have the time!”. Well, I’ve never had MORE time than in the last 12 months and it shows – as well as the cross stitch and baking I mentioned above, I’ve done quilling, card making, sewing and a few other things besides. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to get into, there’s no time like the present!

Audiobooks

As well as taking full advantage of my free trial of Audible (which I promptly cancelled when my trial ran out!), my good friend Jeni recommended an app to me called BorrowBox. It’s available to anyone with a library card and allows you to borrow e-books and audiobooks, just like you would from your library, except it’s all digital. The app is absolutely free and there are no in-app purchases. The range of books can sometimes be limited, but I’ve managed HOURS of free audiobook listening with this app and I do love the escapism from lockdown stress that a good book can provide.

Declutter Your Life

Something I find INCREDIBLY cathartic and stress-relieving is decluttering, and this is one of those things that you can apply to various parts of your life. Whether it’s clearing out your kitchen drawers, tidying those cupboards that are just used for storing stuff you no longer use, organising the shed or garage or even going through your inbox and unsubscribing from all the newsletters and emails you never read. Clearing physical space is a really good way to help clear headspace and the knock-on effect of a declutter is huge for me.

Have you found something in the last year that has helped you through the isolation of lockdown? Are you like us and still doing your best to distance yourself from the world? Have you decided to permanently homeschool your kids once this is all over?

Leave me a comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Investigating The Impacts Of Stress

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I recently spent a lot of time researching a post on stress and was alarmed to find out it is a hugely far-reaching problem that impacts many households. According to research, 8 million British people are suffering from stress, anxiety, and panic – and that number is rising by the year.

It’s also a lot more dangerous than I first thought, and there is a broad range of incredibly severe conditions and problems it can cause, both in physical terms and its effect on the average family life.

With this in mind, I thought I would go through some of the impacts stress can have on people, and why, if you are feeling stressed out or anxious, it’s vital to pay a visit to your doctor sooner rather than later. Let’s take a close look at all the effects of stress you need to watch out for.

Depression and psychological problems

Stress can often lead to depression, and while the two conditions are certainly linked, there are some fundamental differences. Stress is the feeling that you are under a lot of mental and emotional pressure, and once you have sorted out a particular problem it can often dissipate. Depression, however, can last years, hit you from nowhere, and can occur even when life seems OK.  

While some stress is unavoidable in life, once you reach a severe or chronic level it can quite quickly turn into depression, which can then lead to long-term problems, suicidal thoughts, and an incredibly debilitating experience. If you are feeling stressed, it is essential that you get help sooner rather than later, as the switch to depression can happen all too quickly. Getting help, speaking to someone or even experimenting with cannabis products like terpenes and gummies (learn more on Finest Labs) can really make a difference to your happiness. 

Immune system

Stress also weakens your immune system, which leaves you body in a state where it can’t fight of illnesses quite so well. You will find you pick up a lot of those niggly little colds and flu – and that they will last a longer time than usual. Many people who are stressed find themselves in a constant state of sickness, too, as they can’t shift minor illnesses and keep picking up new ones, purely down to the fact their immune system is not working properly. In the vast majority of cases, it’s irritation – most of us can get through life when suffering from colds and minor flu symptoms, however uncomfortable you might feel. However, in some cases, stress can actually lead to autoimmune diseases, which is a different kettle of fish altogether. Autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s, celiac, or Hashimoto’s disease can cause huge problems on a permanent basis, and leave people needing treatment for the rest of their lives. If you think your current stress levels will go away by themselves eventually, don’t leave it too long – you are facing a lot more grave danger than you think.

Hair loss

Hair loss is not just a male problem. Over 6 million women in the UK suffer from hair loss at some point in their lives, and many of these cases are down to psychological problems – including stress. Scientists believe that the stress hormone cortisol is responsible for prematurely kicking out hairs from the head before they are naturally ready, and in cases of long-term stress, it can result in bald patches and extreme hair thinning. It can also be permanent in some cases – people who develop stress-related autoimmune conditions can lose their hair for good. There are solutions available, of course – from wigs to a hair transplant – but ultimately you need to deal with your stress before it becomes a problem. The impact it can have on your confidence is extreme, and while I’m all for embracing and celebrating different body shapes, the fact is that a lot of women would struggle if they lost their locks.

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Diabetes

Stress leads to high blood pressure and a high blood sugar level – the combination of which could see you develop a diabetic condition. While diabetes is eminently treatable these days, it’s important to remember that it is still incredibly dangerous, life-changing, and could be the death of you. You might end up having to inject yourself with insulin on a regular basis, and the lifestyle changes you will need to make will be extreme. Again, if you don’t want your stress levels to result in this serious condition, you need to make sure you get yourself treated by a doctor sooner rather than later.

Heart disease

When you feel stressed, it can cause enormous pressure on your chest and heart. In the short-term, it won’t cause much of a problem, but when your heart is under this constant stress for weeks or even months, it’s no surprise it can lead to a more severe condition. Your risk of heart attack increases when you are stressed, and it could result in everything from irregular heart beats to fully-blown cardiovascular disease. Studies show that there is a link between stress and how the way your blood clots, too, which can increase your chances of a clot entering the heart’s chambers and causing cardiac arrest.

Relationships

Of course, not all of the impacts of stress are physical – there is also the emotional impact it can have. When you are stressed, you are more likely to have arguments and fights with loved ones, lose your temper more often, and feel like disengaging from family life altogether. You will lose your sex drive, too. You will be completely exhausted by the symptoms of stress, unable to sleep, and incredibly emotional; none of which are ideal for improving – or even maintaining – your family relationships. It’s important that you are able to recognise your stress, talk about it, and deal with it, or you could end up causing lasting damage not just to yourself, but also your loved ones.

OK, so there you have it – a good look at the impacts stress can have on you if you leave it unchecked. While stress is part and parcel of life – who doesn’t get stressed when they move house, for example? – if it gets too much, you must seek out medical help. Not only does the condition lead to other psychological and relationship problems, but you could also end up with serious physical illness.