7 Ways to Alleviate Your Stress Now


black woman thinking with afro with the city behind her


April is Stress Awareness Month and we’re here to talk about it!


Stress and low quality mental health is another global crisis that we should all be acting on now. People everywhere are suffering in silence with feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and burnout. What we go through mentally on an individual level only begins to affect those around us within our families, workplaces and communities. It’s also affecting the quality of our physical health.


This is one of the main reasons that I created Jierra Beauty. To encourage women to take time out for themselves, treat themselves and have regular times of relaxation and self-care to boost their well-being. After years of chronic stress and burnout, I realised how important it was to purposefully take time out for myself and make sure that I’m doing okay.


Check out some of the practical tips below of how you can implement self-care into your daily routine.


Self-care Tips to Avoid Stress


Practice Gratitude

In the mornings, sometimes you can feel grumpy, moody or even overwhelmed. This is a good time to practise gratitude by simply writing down or meditating on a list of things you’re thankful for. The science of being grateful has been researched by experts and boosts your health and well-being. Do this as often as you can, even if you can only think of little things, they’re still worth being grateful for. Once you ponder on your blessings, and write them down, you’ll be overwhelmed by how blessed you truly are. Do you have a safe place to live? Do you have food to eat? Is there at least one person in the world who cares about you? Do you have sight to see? These are all great things to be grateful for. Research has proven that practicing gratitude increases your well-being, self-esteem and helps improve depression.


Listen to Calm, Uplifting Music

Most of us love music, but what kind are you listening to? Grace your ears with something that will lift your spirits as opposed to dampening them. No depressing songs! Find something soothing, it doesn’t even need to have words. Our favourite chill music is Jazz and Lo-fi. Listening to the right music can help you to feel more happy and even help you to concentrate throughout your day.


Burn Candles or Incense

There’s nothing more uplifting than a beautiful scent. Candles are a brilliant way to facilitate calm and set the atmosphere in your home. If you’re trying to relax, you can sit in a dimly lit room with multiple lit candles to evoke a sense of calm. It’s especially important when you’re trying to relax or get ready for bed to not have bright lights on, as this sends signals to your brain that it’s day time and time to be active, which can increase your cortisol levels (stress hormones).



woman smelling a candle, aromatherapy, relaxing

Read a Book

Tired of Netflix? Why not read a book instead. It’s a great way to escape the mundane of your day to day and be transported into a different world. If you’re feeling stressed out or worried, it’s a great way to take your mind off things and unwind. Why not try reading around an hour before bed? This will encourage a better night’s sleep in comparison to watching TV or scrolling on your phone.


Podcasts

Not a reader? Well how about a podcast? There must be at least one that you can enjoy. There are so many different categories to choose from and concentrating on listening can take your mind off whatever else is bothering you. You can even try searching for podcasts that deal with some of the issues you’re currently facing as a source of comfort or a way to get advice.



Women reading a book with a hot drink

Journal

The benefits of journaling should be spoken about more. Studies have shown that journaling is a great way to boost your mental well-being and is especially useful for those suffering with stress, anxiety, depression and PTSD. Journaling allows you to use both sides of your brain, the rational side on the left, and the emotional and creative side on the right, allowing your mind to be fully engaged. It’s a great way to recognise your emotions and process them in a positive way.


Speak About What You’re Feeling

If you’re comfortable and you know someone who you can trust, why not speak about what you’re going through? There really is power in being vocal about your feelings as opposed to suppressing them. Is there a family member that you’re fond of? Or a close friend who makes you feel at ease? You’ll even be surprised at how many doctors will take the time to listen to what you’re going through if it affects your mental health. There’s also therapy and counselling. Being in community with others and remaining social strengthens us and lifts our spirits. Next time you’re tempted to isolate yourself, try picking up the phone and calling someone.