For International Stress Awareness Week, we are looking at various ways in which we each manage our emotions, stress levels, and mental health. Managing our emotions and stress levels is vitally important to our overall mental health, as too much stress can upset our overall wellbeing and contribute to a decline in our health, both physically and emotionally. 

For me, one of the most important ways to manage my stress levels is through being outdoors. After a long day at work, I find that one of the most helpful ways for me to decompress is by getting outdoors. It’s incredibly easy now that we are all working from home more, to not leave the house and want to stay indoors (even more so now that the long winter months are approaching!) but getting outside for even 30 minutes and enjoying sunshine and fresh air, helps to clear my mind from the general stresses of the day. Exercise and being outdoors also helps me to sleep better, feel rested and ultimately approach the next day with a clearer head. 

Without these small breaks built into my day and week, I find that stress easily builds up and by the end of the week, I can be exhausted both physically and mentally. This is why it’s so important to make sure to build these habits into my week; stress can be cumulative and can creep up on you. By the time you are aware of its effects, you are usually in the thick of it. By building in daily habits and making a conscious effort to implement these practices regularly, I can manage the impact of stress on my life and try to ensure that stress does not become overwhelming or exhausting. Of course, life will always have periods of time that are stressful, but by making these habits an unconscious daily practice, we can aim to regulate our stress levels and hopefully weather these storms a little better. 


When thinking about ways to manage your own stress, the most important thing to consider is what is practical, achievable, and enjoyable. It is important to work out what helps you to feel better and clear your head, otherwise you're unlikely to be able to make it a daily habit. Once you've narrowed this down, it can be easier to work out ways to build this in practically to your life. By then practicing these habits daily and setting yourself small goals at first, you can hopefully make these practices second nature.