When you think of summer you think of lazy picnics, strolls in the park, cocktails on the beach, and water fights in the back garden. However, there’s a dark side to experiencing the wonders of summer…

There’s childcare to worry about, and how you’ll complete the work of your whole department because someone thought it was a good idea for everyone to be away for three weeks at the same time. There’s your own holiday to stress about with all the pre-planning that never seems to end as you realise on the way to the airport you haven’t completed your ESTA for entry into the USA!

If you want to get to the end of summer feeling relaxed and refreshed, able to face the cold weather head on (and not to mention that Christmas is only a few pay-packets away) then we are here to help with these six stress-busting ideas:

GO FOR A WALK

You may be juggling various workloads but a walk in the fresh air during your lunch break (no phone) will help you face the afternoon refreshed and more alert. Alternatively, try getting off and on the train or bus a stop early. Take in the sights and sounds as you walk and practice being in the moment.

MEDITATE

Whether it’s on the bus home from work, the airplane to your holiday or last thing at night, meditating just a few minutes each day will help reduce your stress. Relaxing the mind will make space for the calmness and needed to tackle your busy summer. Try out our 10-minute guided meditation (link to meditation)

PRACTICE GRATITUDE

When you practice gratitude you reduce the power of the little stresses in your life. You notice more and breeze over the little frustrations without them impacting your mood or day. You can combine this with walking, or build it in to your routine. Many people find writing in a gratitude journal before bed helps them prepare for the new day.

MAKE TIME FOR YOU

Whether that’s having a massage, attending a yoga class, or just going out for dinner with your friends, making time for you stops you from burning out and being resentful of all the people and items pulling on your time. Be sure to take advantage of any wellness perks offered by your employer.

AND BREATH

Concentrating on your breathing can really help with controlling anxiety and stress. Take a few minutes to focus on the tip of your nose to try and feel the breath coming in and out of your nostrils. You can do this anywhere and doing so reminds you that your breath is automatic and will keep on functioning even if your mind is a mess. If you take this one step further and practice deep abdominal breathing you will gain even more benefit. Deep breathing is known to slow the heartbeat and lower blood pressure.

DO THINGS THAT YOU KNOW RELAX YOU

Make a list of the top things that help you destress. It could be reading a book, playing the guitar, making pasta or going for a walk. Think about what helps you and pin the list somewhere visible. When you’re feeling stressed do something from your list.