I recently heard that 13.3 million working days are lost every year due to stress. Although I knew that stress was a continual and growing issue in the UK, I was shocked to see such big statistics. We all experience different levels and types of stress throughout our lives, whether that is induced by work, social situations, or a general niggling feeling that we can’t quite describe. Our days are long and our diaries are full which means that many of us are left feeling overwhelmed, alone and looking for an escape route.
I see this a lot with our guests. As the Spa Manager at The Spa at Bedford Lodge Hotel, I am lucky enough to be able to provide that escape, even if it is simply for a day or two, to those that need a breath of fresh air and an escape from day to day life. It is an important part of myself and my team’s role to ensure that each and every one of our guests are as relaxed as possible and that the spa is a total stress-free zone. However, I do know that often time is at a premium for most and regularly coming in to see us is just not possible. So for those times and to ensure that you have a calm mind wherever you are, I have a three steps to de-stressing that I follow and that I want to share with you.
I used to be the type of person that stared in to the blue light of my phone until the early hours. However, when my sleep quality began suffering, I introduced ‘blackout nights’ in to my routine. Once or twice a week I make my bedroom a digital-free zone. That means no phones, no iPads and certainly no TVs. During this time, I pick up a book or take a long bath and reflect on my day. Trust me, the world will keep turning and a couple of hours away from technology will do you the world of good.
Laugh Out Loud
I for one love to have a good laugh. Humour is one of the best character traits that a human can have and the laughter it encourages is essential when it comes to de-stressing. As well as lightening the ‘mental load’, laughter actually lowers our body’s stress hormone (cortisol) and produces our happy hormone (endorphins). It is no wonder that ‘Laughter Therapy’ and ‘Laughter Yoga’ sessions are popping up around the country. Don’t be afraid to lighten up and laugh at whatever you find funny, whether that is watching an online video or catching up with someone that makes you smile.
It is easy to get swept up in the negativity when something doesn’t go to plan, but just like a muscle, the brain can be trained to see the positivity and light in almost every situation. Gratitude is something that can be cultivated and having a greater sense of appreciation for the people and things in your life is the key to living a stress-free existence. I keep a gratitude journal by my bed and write down the things that I have been thankful for that day. Not only does it get thoughts off my brain before I sleep but it helps me to reflect positively and look forward to next day in a positive light.
It is that simple; turn off your phone, laugh and say thank you. Give it a go and let me know how you’ve been getting on.