April is stress awareness month, and has been for the past 29 years, since 1992. Today, it’s fair to say, we’re more stressed than ever, with busy, demanding lives and a global pandemic just to add to the load. We’re surrounded by noise that commands our constant attention and instant reaction, and unless we make a conscious effort to recognise the stress in our lives, our mental and physical health will suffer.
So what can we do to address the stress in our lives? We've put together some tips below to help you enjoy more moments of bliss.
1. Adopt a Positive Mindset
This is easier said than done, but by getting in control of your thoughts, you’ll able to navigate challenging situations in your life and deal with them more easily. Practice seeing the world through a more positive lens, and try to see opportunities for growth rather than expecting the worst. It’ll really help.
2. Don’t Be a Slave to Tech
The technology in our lives is a constant juggle! It entertains us, keeps us in touch with the people we love, and it’s an invaluable timesaver. However, the flip side is that it has sped up our lives and placed demands on us that are sometimes impossible to manage. Try to have some tech-free time every day, and don’t feel pressured into reacting to every little thing.
3. Eat for Wellbeing
Do you find yourself comfort eating when you’re stressed, or not able to eat when you’re anxious? Food is one of the ways that we self-soothe when we’re not feeling great. However, it’s important to remember that the right food is vital to our health and well-being. You don’t need to be perfect all the time, but try to be conscious of what you eat, and how it makes you feel.
4. Get a good nights sleep
Waking up feeling refreshed after a good night’s sleep is a great feeling. Unfortunately, sleep is often the first thing to suffer when we’re stressed. Try turning tech off earlier in the evening and develop a bedtime routine that works for you. You could take a bath with some essential oils, put a few drops on your pillow, try some of the great apps for sleep, or be traditional and read a good book. One way we love to wind down is spritzing our Uplifting Body Spray across our bodies and bedding. It contains essential oils and our beautiful signature ishga scent of lemongrass, rose geranium, red mandarin, bergamot and sandalwood to soothe the body and mind.
5. Get Moving to Combat Stress
There’s a saying, ‘motion drives emotion’, and it really is true. Vigorous exercise helps many people improve their mental health as it releases lots of ‘feel good’ endorphins in the brain. However, just getting out in nature for regular walks, or doing something that you really enjoy – like gardening – can have a wonderfully soothing effect too.
6. Learn to Say No
Do you find it hard to say no to people? It’s natural to care about others and want to help them, but we need to recognise that we need to look after ourselves too. After all, if we’re overloaded, we’ll be no use to those who need us. It’s ok to say no sometimes, it’s all about how you say it, and kindly explaining that you need some time for yourself as well.
7. Master Your Time
Lists work! It’s important to become more efficient at managing your time, and making a plan is the first and most important step. Make sure you prioritise the important things and you’ll naturally figure the best way to get through your workload. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll find you get better and better.
8.Practice Deep Breathing
You could go weeks without eating, days without drinking, but only minutes at most without breathing. Deep breathing is a way to make sure your body is getting enough oxygen, and get it into a more comfortable state. So, when you feel stressed, find a place where you can take some big, deep breaths, and if you’re outside in nature that’s even better.
9. Stay Hydrated
Our bodies need water to stay energised and healthy. It regulates our temperature and our metabolism, keeps our joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells and keeps our organs working properly. It’ll improve your sleep, cognition and mood, and will stop you getting headaches too. So, drink up!
We hope some of our tips have helped as a reminder not to let stress get out of control and rule your life. Don’t forget, regular massages and facials are a great way to manage it too. Or bring the spa to your home with some of our gorgeous, natural skincare. Whatever you do, simply take the time you need to look after yourself.
At ishga we’re very lucky to live on a beautiful island with some of the most beautiful, unspoiled beaches in the world. On a hot summer’s day, it’s simply paradise. There’s no doubt about it, we look forward to long, summer days when we can peel off layers, and enjoy the sunshine.
This week, we’d like to introduce you to someone very special from Stornoway, on the Island of Lewis. 23-year old Kara Hanlon is an extremely talented swimmer, and one of Scotland’s most promising sporting talents.
Tuesday 8th June is World Oceans Day. It’ll be no surprise that at ishga, we’re incredibly passionate about the ocean, how important it is, and about its unique ability to heal and rejuvenate. Like many other people around the world, our livelihoods depend on it, and so today we hope you’ll join us to celebrate.