breathe to manage your stress

International Stress Awareness Week was created back in 2018 to raise awareness of ways to combat the effects of stress. This year it seems particularly poignant and relevant, given the enormous impact Covid19 and the lockdown measures have had on the world as a whole. And as we all know, failure to manage your stress can have significant consequences

At Tabono, we’ve noticed the impact on everyone around us. From our families to our friends to the wonderful women we support in our small business community. It’s not always the easiest thing to do to stay on top of the feelings we experience when presented with very stressful circumstances. Over time, working as a Life Coach, and living my life as a busy Mum of 5, I’ve learnt a lot about my own triggers and coping mechanisms, and about how others handle stress. I’ve also seen a lot of resistance when it comes to managing it.

This seems to come mainly because as humans, we can be stubborn creatures of habit. We think we have to do everything ourselves, and we strive for perfection. We can be resistant to change, and often, the thought of taking measures to lower our stress and look after our mental health can seem like a hassle because it feels like it costs us time.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that this is backwards thinking. And approaches like this will always cost us in the long run. I’ve learnt from experience that taking time our to manage your stress is a win-win situation. It gives me the strength I need to live my busy life in the best way for me, for my family and for my clients.

So this Stress Awareness Week, I wanted to share the ways I’ve found, over the years, help me manage my stress. And I thought it would be interesting to hear some thoughts from others as well. So here’s what I do when I feel the stress levels rising, and the go-to’s of some of the other wonder women in the Tabono community:

  • For me, I have to really pay attention to what’s going on and how I’m feeling. Stress can creep up and have me chasing my tail in no time. Once I realise what’s happening, I need to take a step back. Step away from the organisation, the need to control what is going on, and take some deep breaths. My absolute favourite, no fail way to beat the stress is either to get outside and walk or to do a workout. Works every time. Completely shifts my mood and the space I am in. Other things that uplift me are chats with friends, baking – so therapeutic – washing my hair, loud music to sing along and dance to and generally being outside in nature.

Other favoured activities amongst our members were

  • walking the dog
  • running
  • having a bath
  • cleaning the house
  • cooking
  • morning meditation
  • reading
  • breathing techniques
  • diffusing essential oils
  • drawing, colouring, painting
  • journaling
  • crocheting.

My absolute favourite suggestion was “looking out of the window and counting the birds” – I feel relaxed just thinking about that!!

Many of the suggestions were very similar, and it would seem that walking, running, exercising and playing music were the top ways to relax and keep your stress at bay. But isn’t it great to see how many different ways people find to stay calm and minimise their stress? Perhaps if you haven’t found quite the right way, there will be some inspiration here for you! Why not let us know your own top tips?