When you’re feeling stressed, it can be easy to fall into bad habits and behaviours. Feel Good Contacts has partnered with psychologist Jan P. de Jonge to offer five tips on what you shouldn’t do if you’re feeling stressed.
Don’t doom scroll – have a healthy relationship with the news
Try to limit stressors. Whether you’re doom-scrolling or glued to the anxiety-inducing 24-hour news channels, it is important that you consume news in a healthy way. Try to find a balance between being informed but not overwhelmed. Do this by limiting news consumption to set times during the day and preferably not when you should be relaxing, e.g. during meal times or at bed time.
Don’t work long and unhealthy hours – recalibrate your priorities
Are you working too many hours? Have you said “yes” too often and too easily? Have you booked up all your available time? Is everything important? Chances are you feel stressed and alienated from those close to you. Address this by recalibrating your priorities and review how much time you spend on each habitual activity. You and those around you will be happier for it.
Don’t turn to your screen for stress relief – limit screen time
Our work and home life are becoming increasingly blurred, so try to limit your screentime when you’re not working. We all know how bad it can be for your health. Also, stress and sleep don’t mix, so it’s important to use the time before you go to bed to de-stress. Reduce your exposure to screens in the hours leading to bedtime. The blue light emitted from screens disrupts your sleep-wake cycle and can lead to wakefulness and lower quality sleep.
Don’t sleep in – get off to a good start
Get up a little earlier, drink water and do some exercise. Prepare your breakfast without relying too much on processed food. Get some fresh air and try to absorb some natural daylight; it will help you to sleep better. Decide which eight to ten tasks you would like to do today and make sure you accomplish the four or five most important tasks on that list. After all, tomorrow is another day.
Don’t slouch around the house
Reduce your stress by doing some exercise. Start with small steps; small goals that are very easy to achieve. Don’t worry about finishing, but make sure you make a start. Exercise really makes you feel better. The multi-million-pound yoga industry is built around it, and animals understand this better than humans do. To wake yourself up after sitting down for a long time, we get ready for movement and work by automatically stretching our body. It’s what’s called “natural pandiculation” – yawning, stretching your arms, arching your back, making yourself as stretched out as possible after first tensing your muscles. Try to become more aware of your own body by contracting your muscles, stretching out slowly and then releasing; it’s relaxing.