Wednesday 4th November 2020 is National Stress Awareness day, ironic or what? With the US election hanging on a knife edge and a second lockdown looming it's likely most of us are highly aware of our stress. Luckily enough for us Dr Rangan Chatterjee is on hand to talk us through a few ways that we can ease stress at home and they're well worth giving a go. Dr Rangan Chatterjee is widely regarded as one of the most influential doctors in the UK, and hosts the most-listened-to health podcast in Europe,‘Feel Better, Live More’. His latest book Feel Better in 5 launched this January 2020. Needless to say, advice from this man is like gold dust and it’s time we hoovered some up.
After Boris Johnson's most recent address to the nation we now know that Lockdown 2.0 will kick off good and proper as of Thursday 5th November. For four whole weeks at least most will no longer be able to socialise with meet with loved ones once more, travel or even find solace in some form of normality (non essential shops, pubs and restaurants will be closing). As many will all too keenly be aware symptoms of underlying stress and anxiety can soon take hold. Whether they manifest themselves in disrupted sleep patterns, irritability or a lack of concentration, there are things we can do at home to ease that subconscious angst. Read on for Dr Rangan Chatterjee's sage advice.
Be Kind To Yourself
‘Learn that it’s absolutely ok to not feel ok at the moment. We have to recognise that we are living in unique times and many of us are going to feel anxious. Don’t beat yourself up about it. It doesn’t mean you’re broken, you’re having a normal response to a challenging situation. The next question is ‘what can you do about it?’.’
Dr Rangan Chatterjee Feel Better In 5
Train Yourself Calm
‘Being calm is a skill that you can practice and get better at. It’s a bit like working out at the gym. You get stronger if you go and lift weights every day. Likewise you can get calmer if you do something to activate that skill each day. One really helpful exercise, that I’ve been using for years, is a form of journaling that only takes 5 minutes to do…’
Being calm is a skill that you can practice and get better at
The 5 Step Release
‘Do this first thing in the morning over a cup of tea or coffee. Take a pen and paper, and on the page, answer five simple questions.'
- What’s one thing I’m anxious about today?
- What’s one thing I can do to prevent or prepare for it?
- What’s one reason that it’s probably not going to be as bad as I fear?
- What’s one reason that I can handle this?
- What’s one upside of the situation?
Manage Your News Habit
‘I recommend that people only watch the news once a day maximum. Staying informed is important, but you simply do not need it any more than that. Make especially sure to avoid watching the news within two hours of going to bed as it can impact your sleep. The emotional part of your brain, which is called the amygdala, is up to 50% more reactive when you haven’t slept well. A vicious cycle ensues. You become more anxious, your sleep worsens, and so on. Limiting your news consumption like this makes a greater sense of calm.’