2 MIN READ | Mental Health

National Stress Awareness Day: Expert Tips on Tackling Stress During a Pandemic

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, (2020, October 26). National Stress Awareness Day: Expert Tips on Tackling Stress During a Pandemic. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/national-stress-awareness-day-pandemic/
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, 84.9% of adults have reported they’ve felt stressed or anxious as a result of the pandemic

Stress is our body’s reaction to pressures from a situation or life event. In many everyday situations, it can be seen as a normal reaction that helps keep us awake and alert, but when stress becomes excessive or persists over a period of time the opposite happens.   

The knock-on effects of stress can have a vast impact on our mental and physical well-being while disrupting the balance of hormones naturally released, particularly cortisol – the stress hormone known for producing for the body’s natural ‘fight or flight’ response. 

Dr Irshaad  Ebrahim, co-founder of The London Sleep Centre and consultant neuropsychiatrist, commented: ‘When our internal neurochemical systems are working normally, they regulate biological processes like sleep, appetite, mood, and energy levels. If we are stressed, the adrenocortical system is dysregulated and our energy sources are diverted.’ 

It’s important to recognise when you’re stressed so you can intervene before it affects your mental health. Common signs of stress could include: difficulty concentrating, interrupted sleep, breathlessness, irritability, or low energy.  

Here are some simple tips to tackle stress head-on as we continue to live through these uncertain times: 

  • Exercise. Whether it’s a brisk walk around the block or a virtual workout, exercise encourages the body to release endorphins which counteract the release of cortisol. Getting outside in the fresh air not only clears the airways, but a daily dose of Vitamin D supports the body’s natural mood-regulating system.
  • Eat well. A balanced diet can reduce the physical effects of stress. Start the day with a warm bowl of porridge to boost levels of serotonin, a calming chemical found in the brain; incorporate foods rich in Vitamin C for their immune-boosting properties; and stock up on leafy greens full of magnesium to compound the effects of stress.
  • Take a breath. When we’re stressed our breathing speeds up and our breaths become shallow. Research shows that practising controlled breathing techniques is an effective way to reduce stress. Breathing deeply triggers our parasympathetic nervous system which can reduce feelings of tension and stress.
  • Try a herbal remedy. Herbal remedies have been used to treat stress and improve wellbeing for many years. Valerian Root, found in Kalms Day tablets, has been found to relieve irritability, anxiety and the stresses of everyday life.
  • Prioritise sleep. Sleep is our body’s natural healing process and it’s a powerful tool to help reduce stress. However, when we’re stressed, achieving a good night’s sleep can feel even further out of reach. Consistent bedtime routines, a calming bedroom environment or even taking a valerian root-based sleep aid, such as Kalms Night One a Night, can help you drift off without feeling drowsy the next day. Based on its long-standing use as a traditional herbal remedy, Kalms Night One a Night is used to relieve sleeplessness, while Kalms Day helps to relieve stress. Both products contain Valerian Root. 

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