THERE are many things that can cause stress, such as your job or something in your personal life. If you feel stressed, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause. You should also avoid turning to something unhealthy to help you cope, such as smoking or drinking.

How to address stress

  • 1) Be active. Exercise won’t make your stress disappear, but it will reduce some of the emotional intensity that you’re feeling. It helps to clear your thoughts and to be calm when dealing with your problems.
  • 2) Take control. There’s a solution to any problem. That feeling of loss of control is one of the main causes of stress and lack of wellbeing. Taking control will help you find a solution that satisfies you and not someone else.
  • 3) Connect with people. A good support network of colleagues, friends and family can ease your work troubles. This can help you see things in a different way. The activities we do with friends help us relax. We often have a good laugh with them, which is an excellent stress reliever.
  • 4) Have some ‘me time’. We often don’t spend enough time doing things we enjoy. Set aside a couple of nights a week for some quality ‘me time’ away from work.
  • 5) Challenge yourself. Setting yourself goals and challenges, whether at work or outside of work. Activities such as learning a new language or playing new sports can help to build confidence. This will help you deal with stress.
  • 6) Avoid unhealthy habits. Don’t rely on alcohol, smoking and caffeine as your ways of coping. These won’t solve your problems. They’ll create new ones. They might provide temporary relief but won’t make the problems disappear. You need to tackle the cause of your stress.
  • 7) Help other people. You can become more resilient by helping others. You can do this through volunteering or community work. If you don’t have time to volunteer, try to do someone a favour every day. It can be something as small as helping someone to cross the road or going on a coffee-run for colleagues.
  • 8) Work smarter, not harder. Working smarter means prioritising your work. You can then concentrate on the tasks that will make a real difference. Leave the least important tasks to last. Accept that your in-tray will always be full. Don’t expect it to be empty at the end of the day.
  • 9) Try to be positive. Look for the positives in life and things for which you’re grateful. At the end of every day, try writing down three things that went well or for which you’re grateful.
  • 10) Accept the things you can’t change. Changing a difficult situation isn’t always possible. Try to concentrate on the things you do have control over, not on the things you don’t have control over. For example, the organisation you work for might be making redundancies, but there’s nothing you can do about this. In a situation like this, you need to focus on the things that you can control, such as looking for a new job.
  • Hear how Niamh can help you

    YOU don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own settee on Wednesday, September 28th at 7.30pm to listen to Niamh Fitzpatrick BA (Psychology), MA (Clinical Psychology), MSc (Sport Psychology) who will present an informative evening on ‘How to Mind Your Mental Health’.

    It’s more important now than ever to actively mind your mental health. What does that even mean? How can you mind your mental health?

    This online talk will bring you through some practical ways that you can take care of your emotional world and put yourself in a good place to navigate the challenges of life and of sporting participation.

    Niamh has over 30 years’ experience in mental health and performance psychology. As well as working with many private clients she has worked with Irish teams attending both the Olympics and the World Equestrian Games.

    Put this date in your diary.

    Enjoy yourself and help two charities

    SONYA McAleer is the founder of the Irish Equestrian Mental Health Project (IEMHP). The charity was formed after her own struggle with mental health, and its purpose is to provide both adults and children within the equestrian community with the right tools, support and training to cope with a variety of mental health matters.

    The charity has recently formed a partnership with Irish Injured Jockeys (IIJ). The latter provides help for all jockeys, from those suffering serious injury to those who may need counselling, advice or help in finding secondary careers. IIJ deals with much more than ‘injured’ jockeys; their remit includes riders who hold or have held a licence, amateur or professional, or their immediate families.

    In a special event to raise funds for both charities they are coming together to host a Mental Health, Mental Wealth black tie event on November 26th at Cavan Crystal Hotel. In addition to enjoying delicious food, you will hear from some special industry speakers, and the MC for the evening is the BBC political editor, Donegal man Enda McClafferty.

    Afterwards guests can dance the night away, while an auction and raffle with a host of prizes will provide some extra fun on the night. Tickets are €80, with a discount available if a full table is taken.

    To purchase tickets or to support in any way contact Sonya on 00447874350665 or by email at