JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON... MENTAL HEALTH
Wellbeing for Mental Health Awareness Week:
Coping with Stress
Mental health awareness is finally becoming a topic that people are talking about and sharing their own personal experiences. This is so important. The stigma surrounding mental health is still prevalent today. Awareness weeks such as these are crucial in starting discussions and creating a space where people feel comfortable to share and discuss their own experiences with mental illness. The more we talk about issues like these, the less ostracised those suffering are likely to feel.
General, daily stress can be one of the most potent triggers for mental health issues. At Jack-All, we collectively believe in the importance of wellbeing: daily rituals and activities that can help contribute to a more balanced mental health. We are clearly no experts but here’s our attempt to join the conversation and offer a run-down of each of our personal ways in which we deal with day-to-day stress…
Having suffered from anxiety throughout in my life I’ve found that I have relatively full proof coping mechanisms when it comes to dealing with stress and anxiety. I go to bed every night at 9.30 (hard core, I know) but I find that lack of sleep is my most prominent trigger when it comes to feeling low. I also rely heavily on exercise as a stress reliever- I know it’s definitely not for everyone but I try to exercise or go running 3x a week. Running is basically my therapy. Just 30/40 minutes of headspace sets me up for the week ahead and keeps me feeling far less overwhelmed. I’m relatively certain this makes me sound like a bit of a boring crank but I think when it comes to wellbeing it’s so important to find what works best for you.
I feel that the best stress relief for me at work is to take mental or written notes of my workload, having an idea of how long I have to complete certain tasks the day before. This helps me to cope with anything I have to do in work the next day and relieves stress for getting content out at the right time. This also allows me to finish everything I need to do for the day and gives me time to do whatever I want in the night. I tend to go out for drinks with friends, watch a new movie no one has heard of or exercise. All three of these things distract me from any worries or fears I may have. These distractions also help to give me time to properly contextualise these feelings and realise, they are just normal everyday feelings, everyone has and not to focus on them.
What’s really important for my head health is who I surround myself with. I manage the inevitable everyday stresses of day-to-day work life by prioritising what’s important in the time I have outside of work, and for me that’s my friends and family. I think it’s so important to lean on people that help you to feel supported and want to see you grow and flourish, instead of still giving time for people who aren’t as happy to see you be successful. For me, toxic friends and relationships are a no-go. This can weigh you down more than you know!
Coming home to my flatmates makes any day, no matter how stressful and long, a good day. I know you can’t choose your team (unless you’re CEO, of course), but I am very fortunate that I have a good laugh in work too, most days are pretty fabulous here at Jack-All.
The most effective way I find to de-stress is to go to the gym and listen to a podcast. I find exercise helps me to switch off and release any energy, particularly after challenging work days. I find listening to a good podcast helps to distract from things going and can really improve my mood. Podcasts are also good to prevent getting stressed on your commute to work or while stuck in traffic! Depending on what it is I'm stressed about, I also find it helpful to write down 'To-Do' Lists. Often when I've got a lot on my plate, it can feel quite overwhelming, but when I write it down into small tasks it seems much more achievable.
So, whatever your plans are these week, maybe try to be a little more mindful of your own mental health and the mental health of those around you. You never know who might be suffering so use this week as an opportunity to start your own conversation…