Even on a good day, life can get a little stressful. Whether it’s getting held up on your way to work (usually when you have an early meeting or loads of stuff you need to get done) or even something that’s meant to be fun, like trying to plan a night out when half the people can’t agree what to do and the other half don’t reply to their messages – stress happens.
April is Stress Awareness Month, so right now there’s loads of info out there about stress, what causes it and how to handle it. Stress can have a serious impact on your life, so make sure you make the most of all the help that’s out there.
Here at Macb HQ we’ve been talking about some of our favourite ways to relax, unwind and chill out – if you’re having a stressful day, we hope they help make things a little bit better.
1. Go outside
Getting some fresh air and exercise can help clear your head and give you a boost. When you’re busy or feeling a bit meh, it can be easy to hideaway on the sofa, but getting outside, even if it’s just a quick walk round the block, can help lift your mood and squish the stress.
2. Dance the blues away
We’re big believers that a good old kitchen disco is a great cure all. Blast out your favourite tunes, sing along as loud as you can and boogie those blues away. Bonus points if you dress up for the occasion.
3. Take a deep breath
Whether it’s taking a deep breath and counting to ten so that you don’t lose it with your annoying boss or doing some proper deep breathing to aid relaxation, taking time to breath can help calm you down. There are loads of apps around to help you with proper breathing exercises, so take a few minutes, take a few deep breaths, and take it easy.
4. Treat yourself
You don’t have to indulge in major retail therapy to treat yourself (which is good news if payday is still ages away!). A tiny treat like a bar of your favourite chocolate can help give your mood a boost. Or, better still, indulge in some serious “me time” – pick something you love to do, but don’t often find time to enjoy, like a long bubble bath or re-watching your fave film for the fiftieth time – and devote a couple of hours to it with no distractions.
5. Hydrate for happiness
OK, so we might be a bit biased about the benefits of drinking loads of water, but proper science-bods agree; keeping properly hydrated can help keep you feeling braw. Studies show that being even a wee bit dehydrated (2%) can make it hard to focus and get things done*. Being dehydrated can also affect your mood (and not in a good way). Give yourself a boost and refresh your outlook with plenty of sugar-free Macb – pick your fave flav and see your mood pick up.
Taking some time to relax and unwind can help when you’re stressed, so make sure you take care of yourself (and drink plenty of water!) – and remember, even a few tiny time outs for your brain can make a big difference.
Remember, if you’re seriously stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, you might find it useful to talk to someone (maybe even a professional) about things. Help is available:
*as reported in the Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance study by ACSMs Health Fit