This April is Stress Awareness Month, an opportunity to open up about the impact of stress in our lives.
Stress and poor mental health are one of the biggest public health challenges that we’re facing – but so many of us still don’t feel able to talk about it, get into it, and release its hold on us. I want to change that! Let’s work together to reduce the stigma that is connected with stress and be open to exploring how we can lessen its power over us.
Keeping it real: stress and me
If you’ve been following my ‘Keeping it Real’ campaign, I shared in a recent video that stress was what first brought me to yoga. I was working in a corporate job, in a very stressful environment and booked a yoga class on a whim. I soon realised that yoga helped me to release those stresses that we all feel as real people and, with that, my yoga journey began.
Of course, I’m not saying that yoga is a golden ticket to a stress-free life – but it is a powerful tool that can help us to feel more in balance. I started my business to help more people discover yoga and its benefits.
Tools for stress release
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been releasing a weekly Mindful Minute video. These are 60 second practices that you can use to bring you back to a calmer place. They can be done by anybody, anywhere, anytime. No yoga mat or special clothing is needed, just a couple of minutes to yourself.
This week’s Mindful Minute is a quick technique to help you manage mind chatter. The mind can get super busy. Sometimes we feel we can’t focus and often it’s because we are contending with such a lot in the mind at any one time. This technique helps you to not follow the mind stories. Instead, you categorise, label and file away. It’s wonderful if you’re an over-thinker and a worrier as it trains you to detach from the monkey’s mind.
All my previous Mindful Minute videos are also available to watch anytime on my YouTube channel. You can find all sorts – from breathing techniques to a practice to help activate your energy.
As you may be aware, I run regular twice weekly yoga classes. These take place at St Jude’s Church Hall in Halifax every Monday and Thursday evening. I also post any adhoc classes or offers I have on my website.
If you’ve never been to a class before, you’d be most welcome to join us. The Hatha yoga I teach is suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness/ flexibility. You can book here.
If you can’t make it to a class or live further afield, I also have a video library with over 50 different practices that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home. The videos are usually around an hour and you can choose between Hatha or Yin yoga depending on what you’d prefer.
There are also deep dive practices centred around particular events, and yoga trio videos that focus on three different areas of the body.
The Stress Management Society has put together a series of resources to support people with stress and help us all to better look after our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. From a daily de-stress planner to a digital detox checklist, there’s a bit of something for everyone.
If you are local to Halifax and interested in exploring talking therapies, check out the wonderful Louise at Soul Collective in Sowerby Bridge.
We can work plenty out on our yoga mat but sometimes a little extra is needed. Louise is a very experienced talking therapist who can offer some holistic solutions to lighten any burden you carry. Mention my name when you get in touch – we’ve worked with each other a great deal over the years and I can assure you you’d be in good hands.
Finally, the most important thing we can all do when we are stressed or anxious is to make sure we look after ourselves. Don’t forget to regularly take some time for you to relax or do something that you enjoy.