Mental Health Reviews

How I cope in times of stress

I blog about mental health a lot and I’m totally open about my anxiety and how it affects me. Which is bad. Sometimes. I think during my anxiety journey, I’ve learnt a lot about how to deal with both anxiety and stress. I’ve probably learnt more coping mechanisms with anxiety than I ever would have if I didn’t develop it in the first place. Which, thinking about it, I suppose is one benefit to come out of having my mental health disorder. Of course we all need coping strategies when we’re stressed. Because we all get stressed and we’ll all have periods of more stress than others. You know how it is, everything’s fine for months then 12 problems come along at once. I’ve recently had a bit of a episode like that, which I’m not going to go into but it’s important to reiterate the point that everyone goes through it. It can help to know we’re not alone, if nothing else. 

I’m not speaking for anyone apart from myself here and I’m sharing these things because I’ve found they’ve worked for me and may work for you too. Of course if you think it’s not stress and you’re suffering from a mental health problem then the GP should be your first port of call, not my bloody blog post! But for anyone willing and open to try some new coping techniques for those inevitable times of stress, I hope you find something here that’s helpful.

Give yourself X amount of time to worry

Obviously this will depend on what you’re worrying about but I’ve certainly found setting a limit on my “worry time” definitely helps. Trying to forget about our stresses and worries just isn’t doable sometimes and I don’t think it’s healthy to try and force someone to put them to the back of their mind and never think about them. Feeling what we feel is an important part of being human. But we know when enough is enough. I sometimes allow myself 15 minutes to think about everything, worry, scream, cry, panic – whatever it is I have to do. Then stop. It’s hard at first but with practice, can really save your day.

Focus on today and only today

My gosh, living “in the moment” is one of the most beneficial things I’ve learnt since developing anxiety and being worried about absolutely everything, ever. If I have a big “thing” coming up; a doctors appointment, a holiday, an event – anything, I could worry my knickers off every single day leading up to it. A prime example of this was a New Years Eve party I was invited to a few years back which I worried about every day for 2 months and guess what? It’s never as bad as what you think it’s going to be. Focusing on today and only today is a life saver. Honestly and truly. If you don’t know where to start with this, I’d suggest Yoga, meditation or mindfulness. Apps, books, DVD’s, whatever you can get your hands on.

Get out of your head

Easier said than done, I know but really, just doing something which will get you out of your head for a while – literally even for just an hour – will be so beneficial. I don’t mean having a relaxing bath or going for a walk because although these things are fantastic for your self care and mental health, they also allow you a lot of time to think. My go-to for this one is playing The Sims. I could be out of my own head for hours, if not days while I’m playing this game. It allows me to completely forget about everything and everyone and that’s really useful. Find your thing.

Look after yourself

When you’re super stressed, it’s easy to neglect ourselves. I know that as much as anyone. But at the end of the day, we deserve better than that from ourselves. Basic self care should never be overlooked, regardless of how silly or obvious it sounds. Seriously, just make sure you drink some water, brush your teeth, maybe have a stretch in the morning. don’t neglect your beautiful self.

Put things into mental boxes

This one sounds weird and I’m aware I’m beginning to sound like a therapist here so bear with. I do this when I have a lot of little things going on and it can really help. When there’s so many little things stressing you out, it can be easy to just look at the big picture and think, “everything’s fucked”. It can be super hard to differentiate between the problems and what’s actual worth your worry and what isn’t. I go through each little thing, individually (probably during my ’15 minutes of worry time’) and put into a box what at this moment in time, I don’t need to worry about. That doctors appointment next week? Don’t need to worry about that right now. See what I mean?

I hope this post was in any way helpful to you. If you have your own suggestions then I would love to hear what techniques you use in times of stress – however silly or weird they sound!

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Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

71 Comments

  1. Reading definitely helps me with stress x

    http://www.ofbeautyandnothingness.co.uk

    1. I wish I could read more when I’m stressed x

  2. This are all amazing points, I massively agree about taking each day at a time – I think that’s helped my own anxiety so much 🙂 I shall definitely try the other tips and let you know how I get on, great post!

    Kate | http://www.katelovesx.co.uk/

    1. Thank you! 🙂

  3. akjmusicblog says:

    There’s a great quote: “if you’re not going to worry about it in 5 years’ time why spend 5 minutes worrying about it now?” And whenever I get stressed I just remember that, and it helps me to calm down a bit.

    Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

    1. That’s a great quote!

  4. This is such a great post. I love how you’re open about anxiety, and the way you comfortably talk about it. Sometimes, just letting someone know that they’re not in this alone makes a big difference in their lives. I hope this post helps people who are going through tough times.
    Keep writing!

    1. I totally agree, I’d never be secretive about it because it’s nothing to be ashamed about and I want others to know that 🙂

  5. I really enjoyed reading this blog post babe. I’ve been under a lot of stress lately so reading this has really helped. 🌸✨

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | http://www.alishavalerie.com

    1. Thank you, I’m so glad!

  6. Tara Westfall says:

    Putting things into mental boxes is a great idea! Thank you for sharing.

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

  7. pugislife says:

    Living in the moment is something I’ve been trying to do especially in times of being stress. I have a tendency to get lost inside my head and feeling like the stress and worry could eat me alive. Your ideas in coping with stress are great, I’ll make sure to follow your advices x

    http://danidotyes.blogspot.com

    1. Glad you found it helpful. I definitely relate to the “feeling like the stress will eat me alive” feeling.

  8. I always try to find different ways to deal with stress. I found that exercise helps, as it focuses my attention on something else, and also writing helps too!

    1. Exercise can help massively!

  9. Interesting way to look at/deal with things when times are stressful. I tend to just write it out, let it build up or nap it off! It’s always good to hear how other people deal with things differently! X

    1. I don’t think anyone should let it build up, that can definitely have the opposite effect and make it worse.

  10. arthritisfighterleann says:

    Really good tips & advice & it’s important to give yourself that time to think through things without the pressure of people who say don’t stress or don’t worry as if that helps. Putting things into mental boxes helps me, helps process things & to store it away & move on & build on it.

    1. Totally agree!

  11. You have so many good ideas Jenny! 💖 Focusing on the now helps me so much too. If I look too far ahead I start to worry unnecessarily. I did Yoga With Adriene Stress Melt yoga today as I was feeling overwhelmed and wow, I felt like a different person in half hour 😌. Thanks for sharing your helpful suggestions 😘 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Oooh I love Stress Melt! That was a good one. I always do her Yoga for Depression video when I’m feeling down – that’s a really nice one too xxx

  12. Self care is my biggest strategy when my stress levels are high!!
    It’s interesting to see others’ ways of coping!

    Claire xx
    http://eclairscares.blogspot.co.uk/

    1. Self care is so important too!

  13. I suffer from anxiety as well as PTSD, what really helps me is your suggestion about worrying only about Today… it takes a load off worrying about the future and somehow makes me feel more productive through out the day.

    love this post xx

    1. I totally agree I think focusing on today and only today can help in almost any condition.

  14. Creative Nails says:

    This is such a great post. I am such a worrier! It’s the worse at times, as it really can stop you from doing things 🙁 I’ll definitely have to make note of these tips and use them. I love playing the sims, haha. Hours can pass by without you even realising 😂

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

    1. Haha exactly that’s why Sims is so wonderful when you’re stressed!

  15. Great ideas and coping methods! I use a lot of them too! xo

    1. That’s great to hear 🙂

  16. I’m the worst with managing stress, I normally throw myself into everything! Such good tips though my lovely!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

    1. Throwing yourself into everything can be good for getting out of your own head for sure!

  17. Oh my goodness yes, getting out of your head! I find the easiest way to do that is to read a book and get lost in the story instead, so I read a lot.
    Cora | http://www.teapartyprincess.co.uk/

    1. Good shout. I can only seem to too that if it’s an amazing book.

  18. Fabulous post. Thank you for sharing yourself with others this way.
    Yoga has helped me tremendously and reinforces one of my first strategies of using breathing techniques to bring myself out of panic mode. I started doing those a long time before using essential oils, but oils definitely increase what I get from those.
    Oh, and mental boxes are one of my other go tos for coping so I don’t think they sound weird at all!

    1. Breathing techniques can literally be a life saver when it comes to panicking!

  19. I love this, especially getting out of your head! I find this one so hard and have been working on it a lot in therapy (for a very long time) lol I feel that is such great advice!

    1. It can take forever to get there can’t it? But once you start teaching yourself it can be so beneficial.

  20. The “get out of your head” is a good tip. I do this a lot with books. Sometimes though I need to distract myself a lot and get up being really tired from it.

    1. I can only really do this if I’m reading a REALLY good book unfortunately!

  21. I stress about everything. The worst is when people tell you to stop but you can’t help it xx

    1. Absolutely, that doesn’t help at all.

  22. Thank you. I needed this today. Been having a lot of physical health issues these last 3-4 months and it’s taking a toll on my mental health. 😕

    1. Oh no I’m so sorry to hear that. I hope things start to improve for you and you can take some of these tips on board 🙂

      1. Thank you 🙂

  23. Great post! I agree with a lot of your points! Getting out of your head is a must, I usually read a book or watch a movie to clear my head!
    I also tidally agree with looking after yourself, I’m a big fan of pamper nights, facemasks etc! X

    Lainy x https://bookishbitsblogblog.wordpress.com

    1. Thank you 🙂 Reading a REALLY good book can certainly help!

  24. Great post. I love the idea of giving yourself x amount of time to worry about something and then that’s it.

    1. Thank you! Try it sometime, it can be really beneficial!

  25. beereaderbooks says:

    These are brilliant ideas, I definitely think setting an amount of time for worrying/panic THEN getting out of your own head is a great combo for anxiety, you don’t end up being a martyr (with the inevitable crash) you get time to stew and then time to just forget about things rather than ruminating over and over which is difficult to break but always makes things worse.
    Great post!

    1. Absolutely, totally agree! Nothing good comes from going over it over and over again until you drive yourself crazy!

      1. beereaderbooks says:

        If i’m struggling in general then I definitely waste too much time doing this but at least these days I realise what I’m doing and there’s a point where I embrace acceptance and move on rather than just chewing it over

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