It's safe to say that the past year has been a stressful and anxiety-inducing year for us all. So much so that you probably didn't even notice that we celebrated National Stress Awareness Day this week. With our excitement and enthusiasm to get back into the rhythm of life, and our physical return to the office, somewhere along the way we've likely forgotten to check in with ourselves. In pre-pandemic times, a night out or massive whinge with our friends would've settled our nerves but have times changed? Maybe, maybe not.

Read on to see how the Because team manages their stress levels. 

Carmen Bellot, Managing Editor
"During my uni days, when the entry requirement for my English Literature undergraduate degree was to be a self described bookworm, I found that the pressure of having to read three new novels a week left me not wanting to pick up even the shortest of novellas. Thankfully, my love of literature quickly returned. In the years since my graduation date, I've consumed enough novels to fill a passport with stamps, and through them I've travelled to the same amount of destinations. When we were locked inside the four walls of our homes, I escaped through the words of Taddeo and Ishiguro, finding solace in worlds that were similar enough to recognise but still felt completely foreign. I find nothing calms quite like diving into a story, and that's always what I'm drawn to after a taxing day. The irony is clear: an activity that once stressed me now does the complete opposite."

Nasreen Osman, Project Co-Ordinator
"Usually if I'm stressed then a quick fix is to take a literal step back from whatever I'm doing and to press the pads of my thumbs against the front of my eyebrow bone. It doesn't magically solve all your problems but it feels good and helps relieve stress and tension. In general, I think taking a moment away to do something with your hands is quite therapeutic and can give you a moment of clarity."

Delia Wagner, Assistant Publisher
"If this past time has taught us anything, it's that we all experience stress in different ways and have different ways of coping with it. There is never a one size fits all – whether that's how not to feel lonely when you're unable to see your loved ones, or how to get back into work life. I've found that accepting stress as a result of being in stressful situations is a fundamental first step in coping with it. I know it sounds almost too simple, but when we really think about it we very rarely accept difficult emotions. We think about them and even speak about how we feel but very rarely take the time to accept them for what they are. One thing that's helped me better understand and cope with stress is learning more about meditation. I say learn about rather than practice because truthfully, it takes a lot of consistent effort for meditation to have a de-stressing effect. I'm a curious person, and learning about how meditation can transform my thinking really helps me consciously practice it more and get to the stage where meditation itself can be my de-stressor. Out of all the teachers and apps I've tried by far my favourite is Headspace. Their approach to meditation is playful and educational rather than too preachy or spiritual. From bite-size guided meditations to full episodes on Netflix, Headspace is a great options for anyone who is curious to try but doesn't quite know where to start, or for those who have tried and (being honest just between us) have failed to stay with it long enough to feel the real benefit without a little guidance."

Kit Bacon, Coder
"For me, my relaxation routine is simple: I pour myself a glass of wine and run a bath. I find doing this is the best way of shutting myself off from the world and zoning out, so that all my anxieties can slip away."

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