International Stress Awareness Week 2020
If you’re new here, a very warm welcome to the Inspire You community. My name is Claire and I am an Emotional Well-Being Consultant. I offer 121 sessions for individual adults, families and children oriented around overcoming the difficulties and traumas of the past in order to transform negative thoughts and emotions into more positive and empowering ones. I also offer online courses, for individuals aspiring to transform their mindset and unlock their potential.
I’m so glad that you’ve happened to land on this page and I hope that you’re ready to join us and start your own journey!
So, as you may or may not know, November 2nd to November 6th is International Stress Awareness Week 2020 and November 4th, is National Stress Awareness Day. Therefore, it feels like the perfect time to check in with ourselves and take a moment to notice and reflect on how stress is impacting our lives, our relationships and our emotional well-being. It’s an opportunity for us to think about what we can do to alleviate some of that stress and identify small changes we can make to improve our well-being and quality of life.
This year of course, there is a whole other dimension to the kinds of stress that you may be experiencing as we in England prepare to enter a second National Lockdown in the midst of an ongoing global pandemic! The current situation with Covid-19 gives way to a bunch of accompanying stress triggers, including a constant flow of information that at times may seem conflicting, the fear of losing loved ones or becoming ill ourselves, the dissolution of our structured routines and the emergence of an unfamiliar “new normal”, adjusting to working from home, dealing with a heavy workload during a pandemic, the strain on relationships, looking after children etc. These worries are completely valid, but they do not have to dominate you at every waking moment.
A lot of the time, we tend to overthink and overthink ourselves into a dark hole. This week, it’s time to examine those thought patterns and turn our energy and attention to acts of self-care. Making your mind a nice place to spend time might not seem like an easy task at the moment but we DO have the power to change that, and I can help you to unlock that power! Our mind is our greatest tool, and by focusing our energy and attention on framing our thoughts and actions in a more positive light, we can avoid catastrophic thinking and ruminating over things that we cannot possibly control. Do. Not. Worry. I’ve got your back.
In terms of self care, making sure that our basic needs are met is vitally important. Our basic needs include:
- Sleep – keeping to a regular sleeping pattern is key in helping us to feel that we have that baseline structure in place, and managing our behaviours such as limiting screen time and caffeine consumption before bed can help to keep that pattern stable and our minds clear
- Food – there is no “perfect” way of eating and different bodies require different fuel, but balance is important, and processed and sugary foods should only be one aspect of our diet – nutrition also plays a vital role in our emotional well-being!
- Movement – of course, you do not need to be doing long and strenuous exercises every single day, but doing some light stretches (such as rolling your shoulders, moving your neck from side to side, etc.) and paying attention to where there is tension is important for helping the body to feel a little more relaxed, especially if you’ve been hunched over a work computer and carrying a small child for most of the day!
As I mentioned earlier, as humans we spend a lot of time worrying about things that we cannot control – to our own detriment. To honour International Stress Awareness Week, why not try a little mental exercise: make a physical list of worries you have at the moment that ultimately you have no control over, and begin working on releasing them. The worry in your mind is not always an accurate reflection of the external world and cannot directly change the situation or outcome. However, how you frame your thoughts surrounding the worry can have a HUGE impact on your perception of it and its bearing in your life.
Staying along the same lines, I also encourage you to give journaling a go and see how it can help you to disentangle or better understand what it is that you’re feeling and thinking about. Journaling is a physical manifestation of allowing your thoughts to just explode. You don’t necessarily need a plan or a prompt – although they could be useful sometimes! – just start writing and see what comes out. Learn about yourself and your current mental state in order to identify your emotional triggers that cause you to feel anxious/low/stressed, and things that might need examining and changing.
Another thing that tends to crop up a lot around stress management is the issue of setting boundaries. Sometimes, we struggle to just say no and end up taking on more than we can realistically manage and feeling completely frazzled. Prioritising and scheduling so that you have a clear plan-of-action can be super useful for seeing what you do and do not have time for. Saying no to people in a work or personal relationship context can stir up some difficult emotions, such as guilt, but this does not mean that you shouldn’t take care of yourself and your emotional needs! Instead, we can work on understanding and re-framing these feelings and thoughts processes that allow you to centre our needs and emotional well-being.
Feel free to join my free Facebook Community Group where I will be offering lots of free support, advice and techniques here
If – like many – you’re aware that you’re feeling stressed and would like some structured support to work through whatever issues you might be experiencing, get in touch and we can sort out a plan together. Book a discovery call with me here and we can talk it through!
Look after yourselves, stay safe and stay tuned for much more content coming soon!