How to combat stress in your everyday life

Published: Monday 3rd April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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April is Stress Awareness Month. We caught up with Jenny Purdue, Managing Director of Jen’s Pick Me Up, to find out how we can manage it.

Promoting positivity and combating isolations, Jen’s Pick Me Up is a place where you can pop in for a drink and a chat.

“We run a personal positivity service at 8 Posterngate in the city centre,” explains Jenny.

“I also run Positive Hull from Monday to Friday, which combats isolation for better wellbeing.”

Stress can occur when you’re feeling under too much mental and emotional pressure. The demands of life, such as work, relationships and financial strain, are often key causes of stress.

Jenny is qualified in psychology, counselling and secondary teaching and works closely with those who struggle with feeling stressed and isolated.

“Monday is an international group, Tuesday for parents, on Wednesday we talk finances, Thursday focuses on identity and Friday we discuss confidence and self-esteem.”

These morning drop-in groups are very informal and help to let people know that they’re not alone:

“The main benefit from the Positive Hull sessions is to combat isolation,” Jenny expands. “If anyone in that group needs one-to-one support, we refer them to Jen’s Pick Me Up.”

“On Friday’s we run a pamper session. We offer haircuts, restyles and facials. We pamper, but the emphasis is on feeling good rather than looking good.”

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In the meantime, the one-to-one coaching sessions focus on finding solutions for the individual.

“We have three sessions, the first is called Tea and Biscuits and we chat about why you have come to a one-to-one session,” Jenny tells us.

“From there, we can draw up an action plan: three things to remember, three things to forget, and three things to use.”

Stress can affect how an individual thinks, feels and behaves, as well as have a physical impact on how your body works.

“Stress can create all sorts of different reactions in our bodies, and if these reactions are not addressed over a long period, they can cause some serious health problems later down the line.”

According to the NHS, common immediate symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, difficulty concentrating, an increase in sweating and loss of appetite.

Meanwhile, the hormones released when you are stressed trigger the instinctive “fight or flight” response.

This is why when under a lot of pressure. many people will thrive and “fight it”, whilst others will flee and avoid the problem. It all goes back to when we used to be hunters; we would fight our prey or run away!

There are lots of ways that you can deal with stress, and popping in to see Jenny is just one of them. Additionally, taking two or three minutes out of your day to practice mindfulness can really help to combat stress.

“In our busy lives, it’s quite difficult to sit down on our own. I often suggest that when you nip to the loo, take an extra couple of minutes to focus on your breathing,” Jenny chuckles.

“As you breathe, focus on your stomach rising, rather than your chest.”

For more information about stress, please visit the NHS online. Meanwhile, find out more about Jenny’s work on the Jen’s Pick Me Up website.

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Published: Monday 3rd April 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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