We all know how important managing our stress levels is for our mental health and wellbeing – but it’s one of those things that often gets left until it becomes absolutely necessary.
However, incorporating stress relief into your daily routine could help to stop things getting on top of you, which is essential when trying to prevent burnout.
The only problem? When you’ve got a busy schedule, setting aside chunks of time to manage your stress levels isn’t always easy. But that’s where mindfulness comes in.
Unlike other stress-relieving activities, you can practise mindfulness in just a couple of minutes, and even that short amount of time can make a real difference.
“Mindfulness and meditation not only have the potential to increase stress resilience, but also provide you with a set of skills that you can use to prevent stress from building up in the first place,” Kessonga Giscombe, a mindfulness and meditation teacher from Headspace, tells Stylist.
“You don’t need to set aside hours each day to feel the benefits – by simply adding a few minutes to take care of your mind into your daily routine, you can start to understand habitual thought patterns, become aware of what’s happening in the present moment and feel more prepared to respond to stressful situations.”
Intrigued? To start introducing more mindful moments into your working day, check out these tips from Giscombe’s fellow Headspace meditation teacher, Samantha Snowdon.
1. Start your day right
The rush of the morning – whether you’re working from home or heading into the office – can cause a lot of stress, so it’s a good idea to take time for yourself before you get started.
“Take a pre-work morning pause,” Snowdon recommends. “Block some time out in your calendar to help you start your workday with a feeling of calm and clarity.”
Breathing is one of the most powerful and inexpensive tools we have at our disposal to bring more mindful moments in our day, and Snowdon recommends using it to have a “midday reset” during your lunch break.
“Let go of everything that has happened up to this moment, and just take deep breaths – in and out,” she says. “Feel the sensation of the body rising and falling.”
3. Get outside
How often do you actually step away from your desk and head outside while you’re working? Chances are, it’s not enough – and getting out in nature is a great way to bring your awareness to the present.
“Take a moment to get out in nature,” Snowdon recommends. “Take in the smells, the sensations and take a moment to check in to the space around you.”
4. Create physical boundaries
Ensuring you have a good work/life balance is a surefire way to reduce your stress levels, and creating physical boundaries that separate the two is a great place to start.
“Build a physical barrier, and make a change to your working and relaxing environment,” Snowdon suggests. “Pack away your bag, move rooms – anything! Or add something to your day, like popping to the shop to get dinner, cooking or reading a book.”