Since 1992, April has served as Stress Awareness Month, an opportunity to come together and talk about stress, something that affects us all in different ways and in varying degrees. Aside from causing unpleasant feelings and influencing our generally happy selves, when unmanaged long-term, stress can pose some very real health implications.
To celebrate an open discussion about stress, awareness, causes and solutions, we thought we’d ask our team, along with some of our lovely pals, their methods for coping with stress.
So, without further ado, this is how our Soupologistas answered the following question:
How do you handle stress and pressure?
A few of our Soupologists; from left to right, Grace, Giulia, Anastasia and Stephen
“Stress is such a buzzword. It means lots of different things to different people, but it’s something I focus on a lot with my clients in my clinic as unfortunately I see so many disorders and health issues that have manifested from an inability to manage stress properly. So I really encourage natural measures to increase our stress-coping abilities. Doing simple breathing exercises and some meditative practise – even 10 minutes a day has been shown to have massive health benefits. And you don’t need to sit in lotus position on a Tibetan mountain for hours – I teach my clients how to practise mindfulness and meditation between meetings at work, or even on your loo break, if those are the only few minutes you can grab during a busy work day!
I use these measures myself to keep stress levels in check. I love Headspace and similar apps that have made meditation very easy, quick and accessible. The right supplementation with key minerals and vitamins can also play a big part in supporting your body’s natural stress response – I personally find magnesium can be very helpful & I can definitely notice when I’ve skipped a day.” – Sara Jackson, Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist of SJ Health
“If I’m stressed by something I like to talk it through with someone; usually a family member. This helps me to find solutions, put my problems into perspective and release any built-up tension. If I’m stressed by a specific task, I will try to break it up into smaller, more manageable tasks and set time / completion goals for myself. This helps to alleviate stress and pressure as smaller tasks are less overwhelming!
‘To-do’ lists are also a great help and they keep me organised if I have 101 things going on in my mind. Lastly and probably most importantly for me is getting lots of sleep and exercising regularly. I find that if I do enough of both my stress levels are reduced, I can maintain focus and energy and I stay happy and positive.” – Sophie Holmberg, Marketing & Operations Intern, Soupologie
“I either try to deal systematically with the stressful task at hand, or if the source of stress isn’t a task, I’ll find a pleasant distraction. For me, that is cooking, playing the piano, or watching my favourite classic car restoration program. If you can guess what it is, I’ll give you a free soup!” – Stephen Argent, Co-founder, Soupologie
“Vocalise, and exercise!” – Amanda Argent, co-founder, Soupologie
“I reread/rewatch a book or film which I know will hold my attention and distract me from whatever I am worrying about… The Harry Potter books, or Lord of the Rings films are favs. They both remind me that my real-world stresses are nothing in comparison to fighting The Dark Lord!” – Grace Magecha, Operations & Logistics at Soupologie
“I think when I’m stressed it depends upon the situation as to how I react. If there’s a work deadline, I have to rationalise that no matter how stressed I get, the work has to be finished by a certain time regardless of how I’m feeling, and getting stressed won’t help me get the work done any faster (in fact it’ll probably make me slower!). So I’m better off calming down and approaching whatever it is in a rational frame of mind.
In other cases when I’m stressed, I like to do something at which I know can succeed, like one of my hobbies or an activity (eg. playing the guitar, walking the dogs, cooking/baking, etc.) as it’s a way of distracting myself and taking my mind off the thing that is making me stressed. By doing something where I know I can’t fail, makes me feel better as I know I’ve done something successfully, and gives me reassurance that I can be successful in other areas as well. At the same time it also makes me happier as I’m doing an activity that I enjoy. Sometimes just getting out of the stressful situation is enough to give you better perspective and de-stress. Talking to family members/friends can also be just as helpful.” – Anastasia Argent, Sous-chef, Soupologie
“Exercise. The endorphins work wonders and I find my mind is always less cluttered after working out. I also love reading philosophy and psychology books, and I think long-term they’ve helped me develop a healthier attitude towards stress and the things out of my control.” – Giulia Sciota, Marketing and Events, Soupologie
“For me, the gym, fitness, training – however you like to refer to it – is definitely one of the most effective ways of combating stress and pressure, be it work-related or personal. Exercise is a really important anchor in my life, which rarely fails to lift my spirits and can quickly transport me from bad mood to good mood. We all have ups and downs, and deal with them very differently, but my downs are made a thousand times better by having a passion that I can distract myself with. The gym is somewhere where I can mentally switch off; it allows me to free my mind of anxiety and embrace the ebb and flow of everyday life.” – Kate, Rights Executive at Janklow & Nesbit Literary Agency
“Everyday, in the morning, the first thing I do is a 10 or 20 minutes Vedic Meditation. This has been the biggest game-changer for me in learning to cope with my own stress. I sit on the floor, as I find this more grounding, and repeat the mantra I was given. I have been doing this on and off for 8 years. Although let’s be honest, there are have been more then a few lapses (longest one was 18 months of no meditating). I have found over the months and years, that the days and weeks I meditate, I am more productive, with less emotional highs and lows meaning my stress levels are under control. I was a total cynic before I started, but the more research I did into it, including reading scientific research on Vedic Meditation, convinced me to give it a go, and I have never looked back.
What has surprised me since starting Good Zing, are the stress tips that other people have put on the platform. Some of which I have tried and have really found that they help. For example, keeping a ‘Stress Diary’ to understand the stress-triggers. I did this for a month and was surprised at the little things that were causing me stress which I could then cut out or change my behaviour. Another one which is so simple but so many of us fail to do is making sure I don’t check emails or social media 1 hour before going to bed. On days when I go straight from working to bed, I know that my sleep is affected, I wake up thinking about work and this turns into a vicious circle. If you are looking for more stress tips, check out Good Zing and find over 46 tips to help you cope with stress.” – Serena Oppenheim, founder of Good Zing
At Soupologie we are advocates of all things health, and we couldn’t be happier to see people opening up to discuss issues like stress, which are extremely common and have the potential to lead to bigger health problems. If you have any tips for handling stress, or any particularly useful resources for those dealing with stressful situations, we’d love to hear them and add them to our blog.
In health, and happiness,