Stress Awareness Month

April 2024

Grief can often increase stress and anxiety.  During Stress Awareness month, WAY members have been sharing their tips on how to cope with stress, with other members…

  • “The biggest challenge is that you lose your biggest support when you lose your spouse so having some WAY (or other) chums you can vent to when you need to is one of my ways to manage stress. I also focus on nature and walking to help me decompress when I need to.” Caro
  • “Getting outside every day and going for a walk. Even if it’s raining and cold, I do it. I notice a huge difference when I don’t get out.” Theresa
  • “Exercise – going to the gym has certainly provided a safe space where I can concentrate on getting stronger. And making it part of a routine means I don’t even have to think about it.” Caroline
  • “Definitely getting out into the fresh air – whether that’s sitting at a beautiful spot watching nature with a cuppa in hand or walking (I’m no runner!). I always feel better having been outside.” Becky

Useful Apps

  • “I use Audible [which has audiobooks and podcasts and other forms of spoken word content], which helps me a lot.” Sarah.
  • “I use the Headspace app. I’ve found the sleepcasts great for helping me to get a good night’s sleep and their quick calming sessions good for sudden, unexpected pangs of anxiety.” Claire
  • “Meditation apps such as Headspace or Calm I’ve found to be really helpful.  The sleep stories help quieten the mind ready for sleep, Calm have some great emergency meditation / breathing exercises. Meditation is a work in progress. I have a busy mind and quieting the ‘noise’ is challenging but that’s OK.” Laura
  • “Audiobooks are fab! So is gardening and going for walks/talks with friends. Also, remembering to keep it simple. And be gentle.” Sheila 
  • “Playing music you can sing along to, depending on mood can be a tear jerker or something that gets you dancing and laughing.” Charlie

Taking care of you

  • “My little girls’ school is very good at teaching the kids about “brain brakes” – ie early introduction to meditation (she’s only 4). Meditation works very well for me but if extremely hard to factor in when solo parenting a tiny child. We have started trying to do some of these at home together; eg. Watching the glitter fall when you upturn a bottle of coloured water, or playing a note on the piano/keyboard and listening quietly until we can’t hear it anymore. Not the easiest thing to remember to do when firefighting all the time but I’m enjoying learning / re-learning simple and cost-free techniques like this for acts of self care.” Orlanda
  • “I have so many! But my main ones are, yoga can prep the body by releasing tightness and tension – a few slow mindful stretches will help. Guided meditation helps fantastically. Walking during the day – in nature, if possible. Journaling to empty the thoughts that are worrying you – about an hour before you intend to sleep so they don’t stay on your mind.” Orla
  • “Early on I struggled to fall sleep as my brain was constantly racing and causing me anxiety. I found that reading in bed before sleep (usually some sort of pulp novel) really helped calm my mind. It redirected my thoughts away from death/grief/loss.” Anna.
  • “I have learned to really listen to my inner self because my body knows what it needs. If I’m compelled to spend a day lounging on the sofa, it’s not because I’m being lazy or indulgent. Usually, it’s a sign of feeling overwhelmed, or needing to preserve energy for an upcoming event/anniversary etc. Recognising this has made a huge difference to my stress levels. I don’t keep on pushing through anymore. If I need some down time, I take it – even if the whole house is a tip!” Nikki