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LionHeart's top tips to beat stress

April was National Stress Awareness Month, which has been running as an awareness campaign since 1992. LionHeart's support team has compiled their top 10 stress-busting tips - most of them are simple tweaks to your working day that can have a huge effect on your mental health.

The latest available figures from the government's Health and Safety Executive suggest that in 2016/2017, 526,000 workers suffered work-related stress, depression or anxiety, whether that was new or long-standing cases. This adds up to 12.5 million lost working days. Over the same period, stress, anxiety or depression accounted for 40% of all work-related cases of ill health, and 49% of all working days lost due to ill health.

Here are LionHeart's top 10 stress-busting tips:

  • Go for a walk: exercise helps the body deal with stress, and gives you that all-important time away from work. Even a 15-minute lunchtime stroll can help.
  • Plan your day: know what needs to be done most urgently and try to deal with that first so you don't waste precious time.
  • Make time for what you love: all work and no play makes Jack and Jill dull. And stressed… Make sure you find time for your friends, family, and hobbies.
  • Think positive: it sounds so simple, but it's a very effective way to 're-set' your brain. Try to focus on the positives rather than negatives, and notice little things that make you appreciative.
  • Take a deep breath: concentrating on your breathing for a few minutes can really help calm your nerves. Think of it as a kind of desktop meditation.
  • Laugh/smile: taking a few minutes to have a chat or a joke with a colleague can lift your whole mood.
  • Take screen breaks: move round the office, fetch a drink, walk the long way round to the loo or flex and relax your muscles.
  • Cut down on the coffee: caffeine is a stimulant and if you drink too much of it the body reacts with the stress response, leaving you feeling jittery and increasing or even causing anxiety.
  • Share your worries: a trouble shared is a trouble halved, as they say. Sometimes talking to a friend or colleague may help you see things from a different and less stressful perspective.
  • Have a hug: give your partner, child or pet a cuddle. It releases feel-good hormones!

LionHeart has plenty of support available including a professional free counselling service, and a range of workshops and webinars to support wellbeing.

For more information, visit the LionHeart website