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Feeling stressed and overwhelmed can lead to negative behavioural patterns. We recommend you try these six strategies to build mental resilience.

Take control, build mental resilience

So, if you are feeling a little overwhelmed right now, here are our six recommended strategies to help you cope and take back some control of your life.

1. Routine matters

Everyone talks about routine, but no one explains why it’s important. The rationale is that through routine and discipline we feed the brain experiences of control –  we create situations in which we consistently decide the when, what and how of our day. Uncertainty is one of our biggest enemies for mental wellbeing. Creating certainties through routines is a critical strategy in your resilience journey.

2. Manage your social media

Decide on one or two trusted and reliable sources and only look at those. Allowing the ongoing mass of negative and inappropriate posts to take over our mind-space is not healthy. Be wary of fake news. Educate yourself about credible information sources and do not pass on #fakenews. For some great tips on recognising #fakenews check out this article.

3. Connect regularly with your tribe

Beyond connecting randomly, a useful strategy is to have a list of people who add value to your life for different reasons. Identify who you go to when you need a laugh, sound advice or a shoulder to cry on – then call them when in need. Encourage your friends to do the same too; in this way you form a resilience community for each other. Also important is knowing who to avoid because they feed your demons.

4. Healthy body, healthy mind

Don’t underestimate the role that ‘what you consume and how much you move’, has on your state of mind. Drink lots of water to ensure you are well hydrated, being dehydrated impacts your ability to cope with the stresses of day-to-day life. Equally, munching your way to temporary solace is distressing. If you must munch, choose healthy nutritious snacks.

Find out more about a heart-healthy lifestyle.

5. Set aside time to fall apart

It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and anxious, and its okay have an all fall-down, it relieves the stress. We are often encouraged to hide our feelings or put away the inconvenient emotions of life. Give yourself permission to acknowledge what is worrying you – have that cry in the shower, it allows your body to physically release stress. What’s more, when you acknowledge your fear, you understand what you are working with and gain insight into the tools you may need to cope.

Read our article on how to practise mindfulness.

6. Practice peacefulness

Developing and rehearsing calm-down and decompression strategies helps us to build coping mechanisms for times of stress. There are some great apps available, such as Headspace and Calm, that provide you with useful, daily three-minute meditations to destress your life. Brain Working Recursive Therapy is another effective tool to learn – it allows you to wire in responses so you can react to a stress situation healthily without having to reason it through.