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Held every year since 1992, the campaign raises awareness of the fact that over 74% of adults feel stressed at some point during the year. And with the impact of COVID-19 on the nation’s mental health, it’s never been a more important time to highlight the issues of stress and anxiety.
If you’re feeling a little stressed, why not set some time aside for yourself with one of these six ideas for de-stressing?
If the first thought that pops into your head when you think ‘de-stressing’ is a spa trip, you’re not alone. While spas and salons across the country aren’t set to reopen just yet, it couldn’t be easier to recreate the zen spa experience at home.
Stock up on soothing face masks or buy a pedicure set to give your toes a little treat. You could also turn your bathroom into a sanctuary with a few candles and enjoy a long soak in a hot bubble bath. Simple, but effective.
Getting outside in the greenery, whether it’s for a short walk or a long hike, is a fantastic way to de-stress. Breathe in fresh air, soak up lovely views and just be at one with nature. No matter where you live, there’s bound to be a park, nature reserve or even some open countryside nearby to explore. And you could even stop off en route and treat yourself to a takeaway coffee from a nice independent café.
If you live locally, why not check out some of our favourite spots for a peaceful jaunt? These are just some of our top walks from across our network:
• Discover the beautiful blooms at Sheffield Botanical Gardens
• Pass iconic landmarks like the Liver Building along the Mersey riverfront in Liverpool
• Enjoy epic views of the entire city from Holyrood Park in Edinburgh
• Breath in fresh sea air along the Marine Drive in Scarborough
• Stroll along the River Wear in Durham and spot key historic sites like Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral
De-stressing doesn’t just have to be about R&R. Sometimes doing something a little bit different or exciting can be just as good for the mind. Food is a comfort and a passion for many, especially when it comes to eating out. While restaurants are currently closed, many are still doing takeaways. Why not get dressed up at home and order some tasty food straight to your door?
There’s also the option of buying a meal box from restaurants like Dishoom or one of your local independents. These kits equip you with everything you’ll need to create a delicious feast in your own kitchen and can be very fun to follow with your household, whether it’s a family member, partner or friend.
Reading for pleasure is the ultimate form of escapism and a brilliant way to relax your mind and your body. If you’ve not had time to dive into a good book recently, set aside an hour or so to curl up on the sofa and get lost in the wonderful world of literature.
You could also challenge yourself to read for half an hour before bed every night instead of watching TV or going on your phone. Unlike screens which can stimulate the brain, reading is thought to help lower the heart rate and relax the muscles. Both of these things are particularly great for de-stressing and drifting off to sleep.
Why not order some books from a local bookshop? Not only will you be helping lower your stress levels, but you’ll also be supporting an independent business. Top picks include Magma in Manchester, Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh or Bookends in Carlisle.
Not just an amazing way to keep your fitness levels up, exercise is also proven to be a great tool for de-stressing. You don’t need to suddenly become a long-distance runner or body-builder either.
Taking time out of your day to raise your heart rate a little or doing something that makes you sweat, whether that’s an online yoga class, hula hooping or an online aerobics video, will do the trick.
Smiling and having a laugh can do wonders for boosting your mood and simultaneously lowering your stress levels. As well as relaxing activities like meditation, reading or a home facial, consider doing something fun when you’re feeling on edge or anxious.
This could be something as simple as playing a game with your kids, dancing around to music in your living room or planning a virtual quiz with your closest friends. No matter how big or small the activity is, if it gets you grinning then it’s great for de-stressing.
Remember to follow government restrictions on travel. If you do need to travel, make sure you keep safe onboard by social distancing from other passengers, wearing a face covering and only travelling if you’re completely symptom-free.