OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES TO RELIEVE STRESS
Stress and You
Stress Awareness Month occurs every April. It's goal is to promote awareness and knowledge of stressors. Aiming to help educate and support individual’s to manage and relieve the stress in their lives.
Each one of us will experience varying degrees of stress throughout our lives. We can feel stress when we experience pressures or are exposed to situations which are out of our control. Unfortunately, in today’s busy world, high levels of stress are becoming more common. Stress can cause significant damage to our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The Impact of Stress on Your Body and Mind
When levels of stress become significantly high in our life this can have damaging effects on our mental health. However, our physical health is also likely to suffer when stress impacts negatively on our lives. Contributing to heart disease, insomnia, digestive issues and lowering our immune systems. Research by the Mental Health Foundation reports that 1/3 of us think about work in our personal time causing stress. At the same time, 28% of us feel less productive at work due to stress.
Regaining Connectivity, Certainty and Control is the theme for Stress Awareness Month 2021. This year, there will be a 30 Day Challenge, encouraging participants to pick one task each day for their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It reportedly takes 30 days to turn actions into habits, and so the challenge allows participants to make changes with small, manageable tasks.
When feelings of stress and anxiety take hold, it is important to take care of ourselves. Having good coping mechanisms in place to relieve stress is important and these differ for each individual. For some it may be talking to a friend or colleague, for others, it could be reading a book or focusing on a hobby. Exercise is known to be a great tool in reducing our stress levels. The NHS advises that daily physical activity is a great way to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
The Healing Powers of Nature
The mental health charity, Mind highlights the many health benefits of connecting with nature. With the easing of lockdown and summer ahead of us, it’s the perfect opportunity to embrace spending time outside. Brilliant stress relieving activities include exercising outside, going for a brisk walk or run, or participating in group activities such as outdoor exercise classes.
Gardening and growing flowers or food is a great stress reliever too. The charity, Thrive reports that alongside reducing signs and symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression, gardening can also have a positive impact on individuals’ levels of concentration and engagement. Volunteering with a charity to clean up a local green space is another way to enjoy spending time outside. Allowing you to connect with nature and other individuals.
Spending time in nature allows you to de-stress by reminding you of how much more there is in life. Taking big breaths in fresh air, appreciating the nature around you can naturally lift your mood. Yoga and meditation are also great ways to relax and can be done outside. You can refer to apps such as Calm or Headspace as good resources for mindfulness.
Step Away From Technology
By exercising outside we are removing ourselves from the constant demands of everyday life. We can take a break from the ‘switched on’ world that we have grown accustomed to. Feeling that you must answer each email or return a call immediately adds to our everyday stress. By leaving technology behind and embracing the world around us, we can focus on the present and relieve stress.
If you are struggling to cope with stress or anxiety, it can help to speak to a doctor. We offer same day appointments and easy online booking.