This article may be helpful if you:
- Have experienced high levels of stress in the past and want to learn strategies to cope better and manage stress.
- Are wondering what tools and resources can help you manage stress, now and in the future.
- Want to learn more about stress management techniques and programs and their role in supporting your mental health.
As we enter one of the busiest times of year, discover tips for managing stress so you can look after your mental health and ensure stress doesn’t get the better of you.
WATCH: Hear from The Banyans CEO, Ruth Limkin, with 5 stress management techniques that will see you sail through this festive season.
The holiday season often brings a mixed bag of emotions. It’s a time many of us look forward to, with the chance to take a break, spend quality time with friends and family, and enjoy the festivities before looking ahead to a new year.
The Banyans latest data for stress and burnout reports that enquiries to the service have increased 48% compared to the same time last year. As a time of year that comes with a significant stress load for many different reasons, not least financially, it’s concerning to see stress and burnout continue to rise in 2022.
According to reports, Australians are set to fork out $23.9 billion this festive season. Once you put into account the cost of presents, food, beverages, travel, decorations and all the extras, it quickly adds up.
With the increased cost of living, many are feeling the pressure – and stress – of getting through this time of year.
Other reports indicate the average Australian household debt is around $250,000 – an amount that looks set to increase with rising inflation and living expenses. But it’s not just finances that create stress at this time of year.
“Christmas should be filled with joy, family, laughter and great food. Yet somehow, though we try to plan it the best we can, Christmas can end up being an extremely stressful few weeks,” The Banyans Clinical Director and Senior Psychologist, Peter Hayton, advises.
“Perhaps you have family visiting, and there is relational tension or perhaps your schedule is busy with events and parties that you feel obligated to attend. Whatever detracts from your emotional well-being, it’s important to recognise the triggers and learn how to enjoy your few days off to promote wellness and avoid toxic emotions.”
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Looking Beyond the Holidays
Your mental health and wellbeing are urgent priorities at this time and should always be a top priority well into 2023, as economic impacts will undoubtedly continue to bring about different pressures and stress points.
With reports advising we’re in for some turbulent times across Australia regarding the economy and cost of living, investing in stress management techniques to help you navigate these times should come sooner rather than later.
Stress management techniques can take on a range of formats, and it’s really up to you to find the ones that work best for you, that you can reliably return to time and again to help you best work through trying times.
“The rising cost of living has likely been a conversation around most dinner tables, which brings with it a sense of understanding and empathy across the nation,” says Peter. “Aussies can navigate this by setting a budget, and having people around you that can keep you accountable to your budget plan is important. Spending more than you have in your account creates debt, and debt feeds stress.”
Symptoms of Stress to Look Out For
Early signs of stress and chronic stress can present differently for many people – it’s also easy to dismiss certain signs of stress as just part of a busy family life or attribute them to other things, such as a seasonal cold or allergies. Many people dismiss clear signs of building stress, thinking once a busy period passes, they’ll be fine, but the truth couldn’t be different.
By the time your physical and emotional health are showing the signs of stress, your body is already sending a clear message that you need to slow down. Do not ignore these signs – take them as the big red flag that they are that you need to take a moment, reflect on your stress levels, and act to reduce them.
Common signs of stress to look out for include:
- Aches and pains
- Reduced socialisation
- Unfocused thinking
- Low energy
- Appetite changes
- Increases in alcohol or drug use
- Shifted emotional responses to others, or emotional withdrawal
While not everyone will experience every symptom mentioned here, if more than one or two of these sounds familiar, it could be a clear sign that you need stress management techniques to help you cope.
5 Stress Management Techniques to Try
Ways to reduce stress will be different for everyone, and it’s okay if you try some things that aren’t quite right for you – keep giving things a go until you find what works for you.
There are five top stress management techniques our professional team recommends starting with:
- Understand what you’re dealing with: Spend time understanding what stress looks like in your life, how it feels, and how it shows up. You can’t manage what you don’t fully understand, so this is a vital first step towards better stress management.
- Identify your triggers: Whether discussing finances with your spouse, demanding family members or a gruelling job – identify the key areas of stress in your life. You can better prepare yourself emotionally and mentally by identifying your triggers to handle these stressful points.
- Take care of yourself daily: From eating healthy, exercising, getting enough sleep and simply making sure you give yourself a break, the daily habits you put in place to look after yourself are important ways to reduce stress.
- Build your support team: You don’t have to manage stress alone – many professional individuals can help you with the above points and help you plan how to stay on top of stress as you navigate daily life and challenges.
- Participate in a management program: Sometimes, no matter how many stress management techniques we’ve tried, we just need time and space to get a handle on things. This is where a management program can come in. The Stress Management Program at The Banyans offers you everything you need to understand stress, identify your triggers, and build the unique stress management toolbox you need to handle stress now – and well into the future.
While stress is a normal part of life – especially at this time of year – it doesn’t have to be something you simply accept without addressing how you can act to reduce it.
“There are a few easy ways to avoid the holiday season turning into ‘Stressmas’,” advises Peter. “Schedule some downtime, make healthy choices and try not to overindulge, stay active, connect with others and most importantly, have fun!”
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Don’t Wait: Seek Support for Stress Management.
The longer you ignore the presence of chronic stress in your life, the word you’ll be. Stress can be overcome and well managed with the right tips, resources, tools and support.
Wherever you’re at in your stress management journey, we can help.
The Banyans Stress Management Day Program supports you in tackling and manage the stress in your life and putting in place coping techniques. Offering the flexibility of attending one day per week (for up to 6 weeks) our program allows guests to seek support while balancing life’s demands.
The Banyans Residential Programs at our luxury accommodation, nestled in Brisbane’s serene hinterland, range from 2–12 weeks. The programs accommodate ten guests providing an ideal space for intensive, focused rehabilitation.
The Banyans Online Programs for those with circumstances that make it difficult to travel to our luxury Brisbane facilities. Gain access to The Banyans industry-leading health practitioners from anywhere in the world.
The Banyans is available 24/7 to help you begin your journey towards better stress management. You can call our expert team anytime for a confidential discussion on 1300 226 926 or submit an online enquiry below to learn how we can help you rediscover the fullness of life.