Healthy Heart Tip: Use Stress Awareness Month to ‘bounce back’
The month of April is Stress Awareness Month. Take a moment to ask yourself what causes YOU to feel stressed or uncomfortable?
Now think to yourself, is there something YOU can do to prevent this?
Much of what life throws at us is out of our control and unpredictable. Cars break down, trains run late, computer systems crash and people don’t always behave as you might expect. We can’t change a lot of things and although not always that simple, accepting is one way of coping. But it’s also important to take a good look at the things we can change.
Read our wellbeing healthy tips on building your emotional and physical resilience. Because when you take control of your choices you can build up resilience against the risks to your mind, your body and your heart.
Things you could look to control …
- Kickstart your day
Skipping meals will leave you feeling lethargic, unable to think clearly and irritable. It’s important to have a good breakfast and top up your energy for the day with regular meals and snacks. Go for some hearty rolled oats and top with some cheerful summer berries to avoid any ‘hangry’ moments.
- Take a swap challenge
Caffeine, sugar, alcohol, nicotine and energy drinks provide a quick fix for many people but can make you feel anxious, on edge and disturb your sleep. Why not take on a challenge and see how much happier and calmer you could feel from swapping bad habits for healthier ones?
- Keep your blood flowing
Being active is associated to improve your physical response to stress and mental ability to rise to a challenge. Even a spot of cleaning or DIY has been shown to improve mood. Help count towards your daily recommended activity.
- Get some shut eye
Too little sleep can kick start stress hormones, drive up your heart rate and give blood pressure a squeeze. Switch off televisions, computers and mobile phones, open a window, and rest your mind. Music can help too, research suggests devoting at least 45 minutes in a relaxed position listening to music is the answer.
Keeping active, eating well and getting a good night’s sleep won’t make problems go away, but it will give you the stamina and mental capacity to help deal with them calmly. So take charge of what you can change today, and help your heart.