April is National Stress Awareness Month. Whether or not you were aware of this fact, you’re probably all too aware of your own stress levels.

Perhaps it’s your work, family, health, finances or a combination of these things. Whatever the causes, it’s good to remind yourself that stress is a normal response to the external pressures of daily life. It’s something we all experience in one form or another – some would even argue that a little bit of stress is good for you.

The problem often comes when we don’t know how to cope with it. Experienced over an extended period of time, stress can have a significant impact on your physical and emotional health. While in many situations it might be unavoidable, it’s important to be able to manage your feelings in an effective and healthy way. Luckily, there’s plenty you can do in Brighton & Hove to help alleviate your stress. So grab a cuppa, sit down, relax and have a read of our top stress-busting tips in the area.  

Photo of a lady riding a bicycle

Tyre’d of it all? Get on yer bike!

Countless studies have proven that physical activity helps reduce the negative effects of stress. Cycling is a great option; it’s accessible, convenient (gets you from A to B really quickly) and environmentally friendly. It burns calories and builds muscle, can be incredibly social and most important of all, it’s FUN.

If you don’t own a bike, don’t worry. Sign up to Brighton & Hove’s bike share scheme – BTN BikeShare. It offers a budget friendly pay-as-you-cycle tariff, as well as an option for annual membership. Whether you’re looking to go on a casual weekend ride, or want to swap four wheels for two on your daily commute (which has been shown to help you start your day with less stress), reducing your stress levels could be as simple as getting on your bike.

Namaste chilled out

Yoga has become synonymous with stress reduction. Practiced regularly, it has a range of benefits that can help you to relax – from releasing tension in your body and reducing fatigue, to promoting mindfulness and improving focus (it’s not all about touching your toes!).

Brighton & Hove residents are spoilt for choice when it comes to yoga studios. Brighton Natural Health Centre has a full daily schedule with a range of experienced teachers in the centre of town. Highlights include daily morning Mysore classes, as well as the ongoing Iyengar and Hatha courses – and there’s usually a workshop or two happening on the weekend. Meanwhile, Yellowwave offers a mixed-style yoga class for all levels on Sunday afternoons (the gorgeous sea views are an added bonus). And if you’re in search of absolute serenity, we recommend practicing beneath stained glass windows at the beautiful Space Yoga Studio.

So, book a class, get on a mat and find peace in your frazzled self. Besides, a downward dog a day keeps the doctor away… or so we’ve been told. 

Get outdoors and it’ll be oak-kay

Going outside is an intuitive human response to stress. Nature offers a simple and effective remedy to shake off the stresses of the day. It provides a space for contemplative thought, away from the people and the devices that demand your attention, where you can slow down and give your brain the time it needs to recharge.

Brighton & Hove has an abundance of natural spaces to unwind in. The South Downs is on our doorstep, with dozens of walking trails to enjoy – so why not take a day away from it all and boost your mood with a long countryside walk? You could also head down to the beach, to breathe in the fresh sea air and listen to the soothing sound of the waves lapping the shore… try to ignore the seagulls. And even if you have a demanding schedule, you can carve out some nature time by heading to a local park on your lunch break, especially in the sunnier spring weather.

While stress might be for life (not just for April), there are plenty of ways to take control and alleviate its negative impact, whilst enjoying all that Brighton & Hove has to offer. It’s also worth remembering that laughter is the best medicine. Brighton Fringe is just around the corner, take the opportunity to belly laugh your way into a better mood – it feels good, trust us.  

Liz Naven, Hourbike

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Travel around Brighton & Hove healthily, sustainably and cheaply using the city’s smart bike share scheme, BTN BikeShare!

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