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Reflecting on stress in the pandemic

As we come to the end of National Stress Awareness Month you will no doubt have seen and heard lots of statistics and information about stress. The effect that it can have on our lives is detrimental, not only mentally but also physically if we do not make changes to address issues it may be causing.

So, what next?

Stress and the pandemic

For me, this month has been a reminder of how much stress has built up in my life since the start of the year. Reflecting on the impact of COVID over the last year for me personally meant that I took time out to set myself some fairly major, life changing goals for 2021. I didn’t get off to a very good start as my health took a bit of a dip, which meant that I very soon got out of my routine of walking. I was caught in a place of doomed if I do and doomed if I don’t when it came to exercise.

Instead of getting out and doing my walks, I took it upon myself to start work earlier or get more involved in my volunteering. This was great, but ultimately added a little more stress to my plate as I did more hours at the screen and directed my energy towards others.

I took some time out just to get checked over by my GP and with the right medication hopefully I am now back on track.

Getting active

But as someone who values periods of reflection, I was able to quickly pivot myself away from the desk again, get my walking shoes on and head out of the door. I knew that if I didn’t, old habits would come back of thinking that ‘just another hour’ at my desk would be beneficial. But actually ‘timeout’ for me, in the fresh air, pushing myself to walk a little quicker than normal released all the tension, chemicals, and freed up my mind to have some ‘space’.

I believe that it’s important to recognize that we are all different – and we need to find what works for us.

Whether you’re a parent juggling school runs, mealtimes and work or a singleton like me who can be more flexible in my planning. But having a plan for me is key, time factored into the day for exercise. This might be a walk, bike ride or a 10 min stretching session following something that I’ve found on YouTube for free (trust me proper stretching still raises my heart rate – more than walking!).

I hope that you will take the time to plan some exercising into your day for YOU.

Head over to National Mind to get some tips or visit Dorset Mind to find out more ways to get active.

Our guest blogger:

Huge thanks to our Ambassador Sarah for her blog. Sarah is passionate about sharing her experience to help others and uses her role with us to do so.

Support for stress and getting active

If you want help to get active, visit Dorset Mind to discover more ways to get active. We also have support groups in Weymouth (until end May) and Bournemouth (twice weekly) to help you to get active. National Mind also have some information and tips on their website about getting active.

Group Support can help support stress – benefit from sharing your experience and learning from others in a safe, non-judgmental space. The Stress Management Society have plenty of advice and information to help you.

In the workplace, our expert Training Team deliver a 2.5 hour training programme on ‘Managing Stress, Anxiety and Burnout.’ Details of which you can find here.

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