graphic of women meditating in peace

Navigating Stress: Insights from the Shooting Star Team 

April marks Stress Awareness Month, a time to shine a light on the impact stress can have on our lives and explore effective methods for managing it.  

In our fast-paced world, stress has become almost synonymous with daily life, but it doesn’t have to rule our existence. In the hustle and bustle of our modern lives, stress can easily creep in, affecting our mental and physical well-being. However, armed with the right tools and techniques, we can learn to manage stress effectively and cultivate a sense of balance and resilience.  

The Shooting Star team have outlined some tips that help them manage their stress. Let’s tackle stress together by discovering new ways to navigate stress and reclaim our peace of mind. 

Jacob’s Top Tip 

“There is no one way to reduce stress. Stress is personal and the effects it has on us can look different mentally and physically. As a massive music fanatic, I find peace in playing my guitar and singing until I lose my voice! Next time you’re feeling stressed, put on your favourite song, turn the volume as high as it goes, and belt your heart out! 

Another thing I do to relieve stress is watching one of my favourite films and immersing myself into it. This is usually Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Doing this takes my mind off the situation that is causing me stress and allows me to reminisce about the times I watched it as a child with no worries, no stress, just pure immersive entertainment.” 

Jez’s Top Tip 

“It’s important to maintain a healthy work /life balance and not let your job stress you out too much! One way I try to achieve this is by taking my dog Luna for regular walks on West Common and the golf course in Lincoln. On Thursdays and Fridays, when we work at home, I make sure I take her out for a good long walk before I start my day at my desk. Owning a dog is good for reducing stress, but for me just getting out in the fresh air, taking in the views and stretching my legs is also good for my mental health. 

Baking bread is something else I find relaxing and therapeutic, and very rewarding too! I taught myself how to bake sourdough loaves before the pandemic, and I’m still baking at weekends, although I have had to replace my sourdough starter a few times since I took up the hobby. 

Finally, a good night’s sleep is very important, and I find it helpful to switch my phone off and go to bed with a good book instead of scrolling through social media. After half an hour reading, I’m nodding off and ready to sleep!” 

Niamh’s Top Tip 

“Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or stressed, I try to spend time away from any media like TV, my phone etc. I spend lots of my time at the gym and as an ex dancer I still dance one night a week. I also always read before bed to help me to wind down. It is important to find things to do for yourself that you really enjoy, especially outside of work.

When it comes to stress at work, perspective is important. Stepping back to see how important something REALLY is when you are immersed in a stressful situation can really make a difference and give you chance to reset.” 

Maz’s Top Tip 

“Spending time in nature and exercising is how I keep my stress levels low. I take Tilly my Jack Russell for long walks in the countryside to boost my sense of wellbeing and it has a restorative effect. Mindfulness-based stress reduction is helpful too: I attend a weekly yoga class including present moment awareness which helps to increases stress resilience and effective coping.” 

Dan’s Top Tip 

“One of my biggest tips for handling stress is journaling. It helps me to feel a bit more in control over what is happening in my life when everything feels so out of control. I can reflect on my day a lot better if I write it down.  

Journaling helps me to clarify my thoughts and feelings and I find it to be a good problem-solving tool.  

I also love to write to do lists; I always have one at work. It helps me to create some order to my day and prioritise my workload, I can share it with people if I need some help to prioritise my tasks, and the good thing is I can visibly see my tasks getting smaller throughout the day which helps me to feel like I am getting somewhere even when the list might feel endless.” 

Remember, stress may be inevitable, but with the right tools and support, we can learn to manage it effectively and lead happier, healthier lives!