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Share your top tips for a slightly less stressed existence with Aviva and you could win £250 high street vouchers NOW CLOSED

(164 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Apr-14 11:59:14

We have been asked by the team at Aviva to find out your top tips for a slightly less stressed life - please share them on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 of high street vouchers.

Aviva say "Being a parent is an amazing experience, but it doesn't come without its challenges – particularly in today's hectic world. In fact, our Health Check UK research reveals that one in five of us are suffering from stress as we struggle to juggle our work life balance. And a similar amount says that family pressures are contributing to their anxiety. With a high proportion of women saying that they've suffered from stress, we want to help Mumsnetters take steps to tackle the issue.

As the real family experts, we want you to be involved too. What better way to do this than to share your tips and experiences with other Mumsnetters. We look forward to hearing your suggestions".

Share on this thread your tops tips - what is the small change you think you could make which could lead to a big health benefit for you? Or what do you wish your DH/DP or parents would do to reduce stress in their life? How stressed do you feel on a daily basis? What are the key triggers for stress and how do you manage them?

This is part of a campaign Aviva are launching this week where they are working with 10 MN bloggers to give them tips from their experts to help reduce their stress levels - Aviva say "armed with our experts ranging from a doctor, nutritionist and Premiership Rugby coach we want to help the bloggers achieve a healthier and less stressed life. The bloggers will be getting personalised health tips to try for 2 weeks - aiming to commit to at least one for a lifetime".

Here are the first posts from the bloggers:

House of three monkeys

Ordinary Cycling Girl

mummetamorphosis

Mrs England

To Become Mum

Barktime

Johnson Babies

The Beesley Buzz

Mummy is a gadget geek

Expression and Confession

If you have a question about private healthcare and insurance please ask the Aviva expert here.

Add your comment on this thread and you'll be entered into a prize draw where one MNer will win a £250 high street voucher. Closing date: 19th May.

Thanks
MNHQ
Please note your anonymous comments may well be used by Aviva in a booklet, on their website or on their social media channels. Please only add a comment if you're happy for your comment to be used by them.

CMOTDibbler Tue 29-Apr-14 14:37:28

I'm pretty stressed tbh - ft work, travel for work, chronic pain, 7 year old ds, mum has dementia, dad is v frail (they average an emergency hospital visit every 8 weeks), dhs work is full on, no family help at all...

My sanity is saved by running - getting outside clears my mind, and its something that only I can control, as in no one makes me run faster or slower (or at all) unlike the rest of my life

I am pretty stressed most of the time, most of which could be controlled if I were more organised and disciplined and stopped procrastinating hmm.

However, the one thing I do which does help reduce stress levels is to do something creative every day - even tiny amounts of progress on a sewing project mean that I can go to bed with a clearer head than if I went straight from the work/household hamster wheel.

Exercise. I am going to do it. It will help lift my mood and help me focus I am sure.

BornToFolk Tue 29-Apr-14 15:04:01

I've just taken up running and am loving it so I agree with CMOT! grin
In general though, I think it's important to take time for yourself, doing something you enjoy.

Being out of control makes me feel stressed, so I like to keep my house neat and tidy as it makes me feel more in control. Also using "to-do" lists where I can cross things off appeals to the control-freak in me. Just writing down what needs to be done can make a big scary task seem more manageable too.

Spirael Tue 29-Apr-14 15:31:26

Make as many things into a game as possible. You could just get dressed in the morning... Or you could have a race to get ready! You could just sort laundry... Or you could play the sock matching game! You could all sit in your usual places at the dinner table... Or you could play musical chairs!

Life is too short to take everything seriously, so lighten up and have fun whenever you possibly can. Laughter is infectious and your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to infect as many people as possible. smile

Swex Tue 29-Apr-14 17:04:24

Two small children and a weekending husband! Yes, I'm stressed.

But I am an enormous believer in lists (could NOT survive without my iPhone reminders section and the birthday app!). Also leaving the house at bed time, how I want to enter it in the morning.

FanFuckingTastic Tue 29-Apr-14 17:09:33

Being organised helps me to feel less stressed, from shopping lists, to meal planning, to having a budget, to having specific days for specific tasks. I have a morning routine, and an evening routine, both of which reduce the stress I usually experience in getting up and ready to go, and in being ready for the next day. I use budgeting apps to control my money, and calendars to manage mine and my children's appointments and activities.

I also practice Mindfulness, which is relaxing and helps to bust stress. I have several exercises I follow when I begin to feel stress overwhelming me.
bemindful.co.uk/

Seven Eleven breathing to slow down the heart rate
www.in8.uk.com/information-resources/7-11-breathing/

Progressive muscle relaxation to loosen tense muscles, meditation to still the mind, and using a Worry Tree in an allotted hour for dealing with the things that are making me stressed.
www.getselfhelp.co.uk/docs/worrytree.pdf

All of these things help. I am an anxious person, so I have had to learn to manage my worrying and stress levels.

mumsbe Tue 29-Apr-14 19:01:13

I am actually getting less stressed as I get older the only thing that keeps me less stressed is being organised by getting everything ready the day before.
What makes me stressed is when something gets in the way of your well planned day
I could probably do with being a bit more laid back and having a bit more me time

SixImpossible Tue 29-Apr-14 19:19:25

I would like my elderly parents to schedule a rest time into their day, and use it to actually rest, rather than submit to the pressure of 'jobs that have to be done', and thus drive themselves to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Tue 29-Apr-14 19:24:40

Prioritise. You can't do everything at once. Make a list and keep it achievable. Set time scales for bigger jobs. This works for work and home with me. I have to weeks to get my assessment files up to date and tidy the spare room.

Be kind to yourself and have breaks/treats.

Train your kids and DH well. This will cause less stress.
smile

Itsfab Tue 29-Apr-14 19:48:14

I would be a lot less stressed if Aviva called me back when they said they would and honoured something they said they would do the first time and not had me have to ask twice more.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Tue 29-Apr-14 20:03:30

Definitely agree with exercise as a great stress-buster. Running really helps to clear my mind and relax me. I get very tetchy after a few days if I can't run.

TeamEdward Tue 29-Apr-14 20:08:52

I think small steps towards mental well-being really helps stress levels.
Sometimes it's recognising that small things like "I got out of bed and got dressed" are actually an achievement.
I totally agree with the exercise - it's a great stress buster, and it also gives you a chance to clear your mind.

Don't sweat the small stuff! Ask yourself "Will this matter in a week/year/five years time?"

DurhamDurham Tue 29-Apr-14 20:13:41

Make a point to get out of the house everyday. Even if it's just for a walk around the block and back it makes you feel better and breaks up the day. If I haven't been out of the house I start to get cabin fever very quickly. Not even the prospect of getting drenched in the rain is enough to put me off getting out of the house grin

sherbetpips Tue 29-Apr-14 20:27:59

I stopped the pop up on my email and the Ping on my mobile so I didn't feel overwhelmed by new messages coming in whilst I am trying to complete tasks at work. I do a big cook off at the weekends so that there are fresh meals for the week that I just pull out of the freezer, one less thing to worry about during the day. My biggest challenge is to not 'pre-worry' I can build a nothing into something very easily so I try to remind myself that even when things have turned out badly, they are never as bad as I imagined!

DoItTooJulia Tue 29-Apr-14 20:28:06

Organisation, don't sweat the small stuff and try and stop and smell the flowers along the way!

gamerwidow Tue 29-Apr-14 20:32:46

I am probably less stressed then I have ever been, not because anything in my life has changed but because the way I react to pressure has changed.
I used to suffer from really high levels of anxiety due to a tendency to catastrophise. It's taken a lot of hard work with CBT and medication but now when ever I feel the panic come on I can assess whether the problem is proportional to my response. Normally it isn't and I've learnt to take a step back and relax before I spin out of control.
I can't stress what a difference to my well being this has been.

sharond101 Tue 29-Apr-14 21:42:18

I am a stress magnet. I get stressed over the slightest thing. I need a list each day although that even stresses me out. When I have crossed everything on my list off I do my best to do no more. I have found myself more stressed after having DS because it takes longer to do things and everything always seems messy. On a more positive note however he brings me so much joy that I can spend time with him and my stress disappears which is priceless. I have tried mindfulness before and wish I could master it.

CheeseEMouse Tue 29-Apr-14 21:47:57

I go to yoga once a week. Time for me to think!

At work I turn down meetings. I try and make sure that at a minimum Friday afternoon and early Monday morning are free from meetings so I stand a chance of properly preparing and thinking about the week ahead.

tugamommy Tue 29-Apr-14 21:50:13

Time for exercise has made a huge difference to my stress levels.

Also second being as organised as possible: lists, planning ahead, calendar reminders. But also not taking it all too seriously - the dc have just gone to bed today a lot later than they should've done because we've been dancing to silly musics on YouTube smile

unadulterateddad Tue 29-Apr-14 22:03:14

My life can get massively stressed, but the three things I've learned that help to reduce my stress;
- Accept that not everything can be controlled by me and to only worry about things that I can influence
- Don't hide from actions that need to be done, it doesn't matter how horrible or unpleasant the job is, it never gets better by being left.
- sell my time dearly, don't take on additional tasks just because someone else asks, and never accept a timescale that is unachievable

sabretiggr Tue 29-Apr-14 22:16:29

Very stressed at the moment - three kids, and a full time full-on busy stressful job!

Couldn't cope without lists - there are some great apps to help with that (I use Wunderlist, which syncs my list between my work tablet and personal phone) to help keep me on track. Once something is on the list, I can let it leave my mind and it helps reduce stress.

On, and pick your battles - stress is kept low if you don't let things get on top of you, and only fight the things you have to.

lottietiger Tue 29-Apr-14 22:47:56

I have a toddler and a full time job with a long commute so I get pretty stressed, especially when the nursery number flashes up on my mobile aargh! What has my son walked into this time! I have three way of relieving stress, gardening, riding and wine! Exercise and fresh air are the things that clear your head best. Otherwise it's making the most of the time I have with my little boy and not getting upset when he "tries to help" which normally means emptying something I have just filled or pulling out so etching I have just put awaysmile

lish123 Tue 29-Apr-14 23:45:32

for me to de-stress I take a bath no phone or go for a bike ride no phone
on the other end of the scale I like a room of silence but enter competitions with NO PHONE ...

Organisation helps with my stress levels. The thing that stresses me out is feeling overwhelmed by having so much to do, and as I am a natural flapper being organised (sometimes easier said than done ) really does help, failing that a cup of tea and some biscuits always helps grin

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