NARPO – The voice of retired police officers
NARPO – The voice of retired police officers

You can help protect yourself from stress in a number of ways:

Eat healthily. A healthy diet will reduce the risks of diet-related diseases. Also, there’s a growing amount of evidence showing how food affects our mood. Feelings of wellbeing can be protected by ensuring that our diet provides adequate amounts of brain nutrients such as essential vitamins and minerals, as well as water.

Be aware of your smoking and drinking. Even though they may seem to reduce tension, this is misleading as they often make problems worse.

Exercise. Physical exercise can be very effective in relieving stress. Even going out to get some fresh air and taking some light physical exercise, like walking to the shops, can help.

Take time out. Take time to relax. Saying ‘I just can’t take the time off’ is no use if you’re forced to take time off later through ill health. Striking a balance between responsibility to others and responsibility to yourself is vital in reducing stress.

Be mindful. Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere at any time. Research has suggested that it can help to reduce the effects of stress, anxiety and other related problems such as insomnia, poor concentration and low moods.

Get some restful sleep. Sleeping problems are common when you’re suffering from stress. Try to ensure you get enough rest.

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Try to keep things in perspective. After all, we all have bad days.