As remote working has become the norm for many, including Accent, mental well-being can be challenging to manage through the disconnection of a computer monitor. That’s why it’s essential to stay connected, build resilience and reduce stress.
When it comes to effective stress management, it’s essential to focus on several factors within your control. Here are Accent’s nine tips to help you make time, relax and de-stress.
Stress is personal to the individual and is defined as when a situation – pressure or change exceeds our coping abilities without adequate recovery. Stress can occur after the accumulation of life-changing events or when there’s a change to an everyday routine. In turn, this has an impact on our resilience. The question is how to handle this and what steps we can take to reduce it.
1. LOAD UP ON HEALTHIER EATING:
One survey-based study found decreased rates of stress & anxiety and a better mood in those eating a vegan/vegetarian vs omnivorous diet. However, if you can’t let go of meat, try adding wholegrains (such as quinoa and brown rice) or oatmeal to your diet. It’s also good news for chocolate lovers, as daily eating of small amounts of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate reduces stress.
2. GET ADEQUATE SLEEP TO BETTER HANDLE THE DAY:
Improving sleep quality helps reduce amygdala activation, which is linked to the fight or flight response.
3. GOING FOR A STROLL OR MODERATE EXERCISE:
Exercising drives up the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system releasing feel-good chemicals. It’s a great distraction from the stresses in your life and can also improve social connectivity.
4. LISTEN TO SOOTHING AND UPBEAT TUNES:
Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure and pain & improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Try Accent’s Playlist.
5. ENJOY A CHANGE OF SCENERY IN NATURE:
Getting amongst nature generates many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy, and creativity and can facilitate concentration. Nature connectedness also lowers depression and anxiety levels.
6. PUSH OUT THAT LAUGHTER WITH SOME COMEDY:
When we laugh and smile, cortisol levels decrease. Cortisol is the stress hormone, so lower levels are better for mental health and stress reduction. Laughter, therefore, increases our stress resilience.
7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH OTHERS WHO HELP LIFT YOUR SPIRIT:
Community gives us a sense of connection, enabling us to feel accepted and supported. Laughing and chatting with others temporarily distracts us from our worries and ultimately reduces loneliness, enhancing our mental health and well-being.
8. SPEND TIME WITH YOUR PETS:
Interacting with animals decreases levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.
9. CHALLENGE YOUR BRAIN:
Hobbies bring a sense of fun and freedom to life that can help minimise chronic stress. Those who feel overwhelmed in their job benefit from hobbies as they provide an outlet for stress and something to look forward to after a stressful day.