Try these simple strategies to help manage stress levels during lockdown:

Stresshacking

Stresshacking

#1 Breathe….

Inhale through the nose for a count of 4. Exhale through the mouth for a count of 6 whilst mentally saying to yourself ‘let go.’ Repeat 5 to 10 times any time you feel frustrated, anxious, upset, or stressed in any way at all.

#2 Focus on what’s in your control…

Whilst so much is out of our control and there are many things we can’t do, keep shifting your focus into what is in your control and what you can do. Take things one day at a time and in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, ‘do what you can, with what you have, and where you are.’

#3 Look after your wellbeing…

Move….Use your outdoor exercise time well by being fully present in the moment and noticing your surroundings. Make the most of online exercise classes when indoors.

Eat….Look out for unhealthy snacking, caffeine, and alcohol creeping up on you. Whilst our daily routines have been disrupted now is a great time to kick start healthier lifestyle choices and habits. We have the potential to be healthier and fitter than we’ve ever been - one simple, doable choice after another.

Sleep….getting 7-9 hours of sleep helps us to function optimally on all levels. If you do have trouble sleeping try practicing the above breathe practice before trying to get to sleep and whenever you wake up in the night.

#4 Stay connected….

Keep in touch with family, friends, and work colleagues by video call - it’s the next best thing to being in the room together. If you are feeling lonely or isolated, reach out to others in whichever way feels best to you, video call, phone call, message, email or online.

#5 Honour each other’s needs….

Remember we’re all trying our best and will all have good days, bad days, and possibly a few meltdown moments. Try to work together to support each other and respect each other’s needs. Saying ‘sorry’ and accepting apologies when needed will go a long way to keeping peace.

#6 Stay purposeful & productive…

When you get up each day make a plan of what you want to achieve and work your way through it. This will help to create structure and motivation along with a sense of purpose and achievement each day.

#7 Focus on the positive lessons we can learn…

What kind of person do you want to be when we get to the other side of lockdown? How would that person behave? What would they create? What are you grateful for and won’t take for granted again? It’s so heartwarming to see so many people reaching outside of themselves and helping each other. We all have such amazing human potential to be generous, loving, creative and collaborative. Lockdown is a great opportunity to reflect on who we want to be and to start being that person today.

Stresshacking is published by Practical Inspiration Publishing, e-book £6.99, paperback £12.99.


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