You may or may not be aware that it’s National Stress Awareness Day today, a day founded by ISMA (International Stress Management Association).
It’s not a long post today, but I just wanted to bring the day to your attention. To maybe provide a prompt for you to look inwards and see if there are any situations or areas in your life that could use a little stress awareness. It doesn’t have to be hard work, it doesn’t have to involve ‘doing’ anything to fix it, just bringing your attention to where you might be feeling a bit over stretched can work wonders. Becoming aware is the first step to allowing things to change or improve.
I invite you to take a few conscious breaths, in and out. To remind yourself that no matter how stressful a situation is – you’ve got this. To give your mind and body the chance to tell you what it might need to help you. We can’t hear this unless we take time to stop, which is such a counterintuitive thing to do when we’re so busy.
Something I use nearly everyday is the 10-10-10 breathing technique. It is so simple and it instantly calms down my mind and nervous system when I’m feeling stressed, or serves as a great way to bring me back to the moment when I’m getting tied up in knots about something!
Try it now. You just have to breath in for 10 seconds, hold for 10 seconds and breathe out for 10 seconds. Repeat a few times, or as long as you need. If you are somewhere that you can make an ‘ahh’ noise as you exhale, go for it. It will help even more. If you can’t do ten seconds, just do whatever you can. If you have asthma, be cautious of holding your breath for too long, you can still do it but shorten the hold if you notice longer is hard. This tool is incredible, and it’s always at your disposal, no matter where you are.
I hope that you can take a moment today to remind yourself of how well you are doing, to take stock of the stresses in your life and see if there is any way that you can ease them. Any way to be gentle with yourself. Maybe it’s taking some time out to relax, maybe it’s reaching out for some support or maybe it’s saying no to something to look after you.
With lives that are so busy and stressful, we really do need to be kind to ourselves.
Til next time 🙂
Resources for stress management and mental health: