Stress Awareness 

Stress is one of the great public health challenges of our time.

This April Stress Awareness Month is a great opportunity to think about ways that you can combat stress.  Unchecked stress can lead to mental and physical health problems.

The Retail Trust have a range of solutions that may help, from 'Understanding Stress and the warning signs to look out for.  They also have tips to enable you to bounce back from overwhelm and build resilience as you go. Check out 'Quick ways to lower stress' from Retail Trust below.

We've also included some viewable sessions with Wellness Coach from our partner Gympass in honour of stress awareness month.  You can take part by viewing these videos which are less than 11 minutes long. Simply click on the videos below.

For continual self awareness, help and development our THRIVE App can help you monitor how you're feeling. Thrive is an additional tool for you to use to help you manage stress. It's easy to sign up, see further info below.

10 Quick ways to lower stress levels in under 5 minutes from Retail Trust 🧘🏽

2.  Or to someone! Sharing how you feel nearly always makes a difference.  But do choose your confidante wisely.  Approach someone who is naturally calm and measured, rather than someone who's reactions will feed your stress even more.

3.  Breathe it out.  By taking deeper, longer, slower breathes you'rephysically signalling to your nervous system to calm down.  Looking for techniques?  Try these breathing exercises for stress.

4.  Can't escape the shop floor?  Talk to yourself in your head in the third person.  Imagine what a friend would say to you - or indeed, what you would say to a friend if they were stressed - sounds a little bonkers but having a strong, positive inner- voice can make a difference.

5.  Press it out.  There's a pressure point in the webbing between your thumb and index finger that is said to reduce stress.  (FYI.  Apparently, it may also induce labour, so avoid if you're pregnant).  Apply firm pressure to this point for 4-5 seconds, breathing slowly and deeply.  Release and repeat.

6.  Stretch.  If you need a quick release, try the chest opener stretch.  It promotes proper posture, oxygen flow and importantly releases tension.  Stand, with your legs hip width apart, clasp your hands behind your back, squeeze your upper shoulder blades towards each other behindyou and push out through your chest.  Hold the stretch as you breathe in slowly, relax as you breathe our and repeat two to three times.

7.  Have a cup of tea. Sound like advice from the 1950s? True. But there’s a lot to be said for everyday calming rituals. The simple act of putting the kettle on, making a brew and drinking it, is soothing, comforting and reassuring in its familiarly.

8.  Go for a walk round the block. Even if you can only manage five minutes, the repetitive nature of putting one foot in front of the other, getting a quick change of scene and some fresh air, helps to rebalance.

9.  Listen to music. If you’re at work, plug in your headphones and take three minutes to listen to your favourite tune. At home or in the car? Sing the words as loud as you can. The principle behind it is mainly distraction (getting lost in the beats of a song you love helps to focus away from the stressful situation) and listening to something you enjoy is endorphin-releasing, making you happier. Music really can be therapy for the soul.

10.  Try progressive relaxation. This is a good technique if you’re feeling stressed or anxious at home and in particular, in bed, but you can do it seated if needed. Progressive relaxation involves tensing each part of your body, releasing then repeating to calm your mind and body. Start with your feet or hands. Tense for five seconds while inhaling, then relax while exhaling for ten seconds. Gradually work your way around tensing and relaxing each muscle group (arms, legs, bottocks, neck, shoulders).

Wellness coach 🤸🏼‍♂️

8 Minute Ki Breathing to reduce stress

with Jennifer Cassetta

10 minute Tension Relief Yoga 

with Danielle Stead Blanton

11 Minute Stress Relief Chair Yoga

with Corene Summers

Gympass just one of your NEXT benefits 🤸🏼‍♂️🏋️

What your colleagues say about THRIVE

This App is the only App that I have found to be properly engaging; the use of goals, games and genuinely interactive sessions is helpful to keep you coming back each day.

I liked the breathing exercises and the guided meditation, especially at night when I couldn't sleep.  The App was easy to use and it was great that there are lots of choices of what to do, so you can find something that suits you.