April marked Stress Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness of stress and how to deal with its effects. This can be potentially lifesaving as it works to break the stigma around mental illness, which affects so many of us. With the spread of Covid-19, we are currently experiencing one of the most stressful situations in our lifetimes and it’s necessary to find new ways of living and dealing with the uncertainty.
In Australia, nearly five million people are battling with the effects of stress. Although stress is not uncommon, it is vital to stay aware and take precautions to ensure that the stress doesn’t become overwhelming or unmanageable. Whilst many of us would normally take some time out, get a massage or go to a salon for stress relief, unfortunately, this is no longer allowed due to social distancing rules. At Blys, we have added online wellbeing services so that people can still feel connected, less lonely and to help them combat stress.
Whilst we might feel stuck inside, it is still important to make time for ourselves to connect to our bodies and minds and not just get stuck in a rut of constantly working or watching TV. Create some structure in your week and days by ensuring you call or video chat with someone every day, and make sure to allocate time for your body and mind. For example, keep a diary or calendar where you schedule in workouts, online social events, exercise outside and time for relaxation, such as meditation. This way, you’re practising self-care, making sure you’re still getting some endorphins from exercise, allowing some time to switch off and also very importantly, connect with your friends and family.
Whilst stress is often caused in the mind, it has very negative physical effects such as high blood pressure, difficulty sleeping and fatigue. One way to help manage stress is with meditation. This is becoming more widely practised and recognised to have incredible benefits such as reducing stress and improving your general wellbeing. There are many different forms of meditation, but guided meditation is perfect for beginners as a voice helps explain how to relax and clear your mind.