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7 Ways To Better Manage Mild Anxiety & Stress
WELLNESS

7 Ways To Better Manage Mild Anxiety & Stress

These days it can feel as though stress is a constant part of our daily lives, and for a lot of us it is. Most of us are stressed in one way or another and it’s not always necessarily a bad thing. Stress is a natural response to changes within our environment, we need some stress in our lives to help us function effectively as human beings. Stress helps us to get things done, it keeps us accountable for our actions and gives us motivation. But too much stress can take its toll on both our mental and physical health. Mild anxiety is our response to stress, but it can be more than just worrying too much if left unaddressed mild anxiety can start to affect our concentration, our sleep, how we eat and it can even impact on how we function day today. We’ll always have some level of stress in our lives, but there are lots of ways to find a little peace for ourselves and get a little control, here are seven ideas that you might like to try.

1. Disconnect

Do you feel anxious when you watch the news at night? Does checking your social media make you feel like you are missing out? If so, then maybe it’s time to step back a little. It’s ok to take time out from the chaos, the world won’t end if you haven’t seen the latest cat video or a status update from your cousin’s former roommate. Stay informed, but not overwhelmed and accept that there are some things that you just can’t control, but many that you can. Don’t check your phone constantly or watch the latest news bulletin every hour.  If you must, make a point to check in at a chosen time once a day and then busy yourself with other matters that bring joy and calm to your life, not stress.

2. Get a hobby

Everybody has a hidden talent! Sometimes it just takes a little effort to find it. If you have some spare time, try to fill it with something that you’ve never tried before or even restart an old hobby that maybe you’ve forgotten about. Try to think of things that you loved doing as a child. Did you love to draw? Did you love watching your mum create beautiful garments with the sewing machine? Maybe you loved getting dirty and digging in the garden? Or perhaps you loved helping in the kitchen? Connect with an activity that lets your mind focus on the task at hand and let your creative side take over for a while.

3. Make small goals

Sometimes just sorting out our day to day lives can give us a feeling of control. List the things that you would like to have done that day. They don’t have to be monumental tasks, putting a load of washing on, taking the dog for a walk or sorting out the pantry all count and nothing feels better than ticking things off your to-do list.

4. Consider getting a pet….

The benefits of having a pet are endless. Sometimes taking the time to tend to the needs of our furry friends can help lift our spirits and help us to relax. Pets can be great caregivers too, they keep us company and will happily listen to our problems in exchange for a scratch under the chin or a walk around the block. If you are looking to get yourself a furry companion, make sure that you check out your local animal shelter, those little guys are just bursting with love to give and you may just be rescuing each other.

5. …..or a plant

If a pet just isn’t an option for you, maybe a potted plant would be more suited to you. Growing and tending to Bonsai trees can be a great stress reliever, you could keep it as simple or as intricate as you like. There are many to choose from, your local plant nursery will have a variety of species on offer. Don’t forget the tiny decorative figurines that you can use to personalise your pot and add your own personal touch!

If you have the space, try your hand at a veggie garden or pot, watch the results of your hard work grow before your eyes and relish in the satisfaction that you have produced both a delicious addition to your plate and also a new way to relax.

6. Help out

Volunteering can help us to feel more connected to others. It can help us to share our experiences and knowledge while also helping foster new friendships and a feeling of community and purpose. When we help others, we are more inclined to be less absorbed by our own troubles, instead focussing on issues outside ourselves while helping to improve the lives of others.  There are many organisations simply crying out for volunteers, so why not get in touch with one of them and enrich not only your life, but also that of others?

7. Reach out

Don’t forget that humans are social beings, we’re not designed to deal with things alone. We need to interact both emotionally and physically with others for our minds to function at their best. Try to get outside your comfort zone occasionally, try new things, meet new people and change things if they don’t seem to be working for you, they don’t need to be enormous changes. Remember, if you feel like everything is becoming too overwhelming and you are just not managing, take care of yourself by getting some help. There are many brilliant organisations that are available such as Lifeline, Beyond Blue or check with your local medical centre to find a counsellor to help you through, there is light at the end of the tunnel and it’s closer than you think.
Felicity Downes-Casipit
Author

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