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Stress Relief – what is your coping mechanism?

Stress is so common today, it has been labelled the modern epidemic. It is everywhere, we all suffer from it to one degree or another, even young children are suffering. Modern life is full of deadlines, pressures and touch-screen expectation. It is no longer so full of exercise, fresh air, face-to-face connections and time to think. This (amongst other things) causes stress.

At its best, stress in small doses can help us to perform better as our bodies are primed to react when our ‘fight or flight’ responses kick in. But the impact of prolonged stress, where our bodies are exposed to it routinely, can be profound. It can cause personality changes, including anxiety and irritability, and can compound existing health conditions to even become life threatening.

It is not surprising then, that many of us are searching for ways to relieve stress. Whether in the workplace or at home.

Today I am not going to tell you about how coaching can support stress relief and how culture change can give more supportive working environments that allow people to de-stress. Today I am not going to give you a list of ‘5 ways to combat stress in the workplace’, you can find these for yourself on the NHS website.

Instead I am asking you to not focus on your own stress today, but to spare a thought for those in the emergency services. This is pertinent as today was the service at Westminster Abbey for PC Keith Palmer and the 3 others killed in the Westminster attack just a couple of weeks ago.

The emergency services routinely go into situations that most of us have nightmares about. They can face trauma on a daily, if not hourly basis. Many of them experience stress at a whole different level.

This is close and personal for me, as three members of my immediate family are serving paramedics. I see the daily impact stress has and how they have found coping mechanisms.

Today therefore, I urge that when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed and emotionally not right; make the effort to find your way of winding down and getting the adrenaline / cortisol out of your system. Exercise, mindfulness, music, art, being near water, gardening, long baths… Keep going. Keep trying. Keep knowing. It is not always easy, but it is possible.

Don’t let it control you. Find your coping mechanism.

Thank you for your indulgence.

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