Q: How can I reset after a stressful day or week?
The best thing you can do after a stressful day is take some time to release all the accumulated stress and tension. This allows the nervous system to return to a state of homeostasis and regulate basic functions of the body like heart, rate, digestion, and rest, which are altered during times of stress.
Relaxation techniques include going for a walk, turning off your notifications, cooking, or any activity that you enjoy. Anything that helps take your mind off work is beneficial.
Minerals like magnesium, zinc and iron play a crucial role in the optimal functioning of brain chemistry.
Q: How can I keep myself healthy when I’m exposed to stress every day?
By prioritising your social, emotional, physical and spiritual self care. How can this be achieved? Look at your needs after a busy and stressful day. What would make you feel better? Perhaps you want to be alone or connect to a loved one. Maybe going for a yoga class is your perfect solution.
Managing daily exposure to stress can be done with careful attention to our self-care needs. By looking after your emotional health, you give yourself the chance to recharge after each day.
Q: How would you suggest switching my mind off when I’m overthinking?
First, name the emotion you’re feeling when you’re overthinking. Is it stress, anxiety, panic? Naming it reduces its intensity by 50% percent. Then try to breathe deeply for several minutes. Inhale until you feel that your belly is full of air, hold for 5-6 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Repeat this several times.
Name three things you can see, two things you can touch, and 1 thing you can hear. This moves your attention to the environment, which makes you feel more grounded in the present.
Q: What are your tips for staying positive every day?
Before going into this topic, let me mention something important. It is unrealistic to expect that you will feel amazing and have positive thoughts each day. Therefore, do not put pressure on yourself to be full of gratitude and positivity daily. However, you can certainly cultivate a more positive outlook on life.
You can do this by implementing deliberate strategies to feed your mind with empowering and uplifting thoughts and ideas. This means choosing to focus on the good aspects of your life, selecting information sources on social media, or keeping a gratitude journal. Remember, the quality of your thoughts will always depend on the incoming information that enters your mind, so choose wisely.
It is unrealistic to expect that you will feel amazing and have positive thoughts each day.
Q: What would you advise I do before going to bed for a good rest?
To have restful sleep, our brain needs to achieve a calm state several hours before we go to bed. This means cutting down on caffeine and other stimulants in the late afternoon/ evening, finishing work at a reasonable time and avoiding any disputes, conflicts, or worrying information during the last part of the day.
Studies show that exposure to screens and blue light before bedtime can also affect sleep quality, so make sure that you put your phone away at least one hour before going to bed. You can also choose to have a regular evening routine that facilitates relaxation. This can include stretching or listening to music.
Q: I experience a high amount of dreams most nights and I don’t feel rested in the morning. How can I improve my sleep quality?
Dreams might be caused by ongoing stress, unprocessed traumatic experiences, or subconscious fears. If you feel that they impact your sleep quality, you can get in touch with a Psychotherapist or Mental Health Counsellor. These professionals can help you better understand the content of your dreams and release any negative emotions related to past events and traumas.
In the meantime, you can also ensure that you have good sleep hygiene, take plenty of time to relax in the evening and look after your physical and emotional health.
To have restful sleep, our brain needs to achieve a calm state several hours before we go to bed.
Q: Is there anything I can do to support a friend’s mental health?
While you are not able to treat your friend’s mental struggles, you can definitely support their wellbeing in various ways. For example, you can let them know that you can offer them a listening ear and your honest friendship. This will make them feel less alone and reassured that they have someone to confide in.
You can also offer to accompany them to various social activities that may boost their mood, such as going to a party, joining a gym together, picking up a new hobby, etc. Many people with mental disorders want to be supported but are unsure how to ask for help, so being there for your friend might make a big difference to their life.