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We know that during Lent you are meant to give up chocolate, wine or something you really love but given how bad stress is for us, why not try to live without it for a few weeks and see how you get on?

It is little surprise that more and more people are dealing with anxiety and stress related issues given the pressure of modern-day living. Celebrity culture, an obsession with selfies and social media on tap 24/7, life is one long hamster wheel and sometimes you need to jump off and see what really matters.

Rather than light up another cigarette or down one more vodka and orange, why not have a look at some alternative ways to deal with stress and see if you can combat it for once and for all.

Exercise isn’t a magic wand that will make your stress disappear, but it can help reduce the intense emotions you might be feeling. A run, brisk walk or bike ride can help you clear your thoughts and find a way to deal with problems in a different, maybe more rational way.

Find a friend
Yes, there are people at work, people on Facebook and mums at the school gates, but us can still feel lonely and this is where real friends, you can trust, come into play. It won’t happen overnight, but try to create a support network of people, you enjoy being with and you will find that as much as they will help you find solutions to problems, you can do the same for them and that’s a pretty good feeling.

Me time
We are often made to feel as if taking time for ourselves is lazy and indulgent but this couldn’t be further from the truth. To be able to fire on all cylinders, it is important to take time out for socialising, relaxing and exercise, time that is just for you. A couple of hours a week doing something you really love, either alone or with friends, can really help you shrug off that dark cloud that has been following you around.

Get a pet
Never underestimate the love of a dog, cat or even hamster. A pet not only gives you a new interest but also a little bit of company, a lot of love and if you do get a dog, you have to take them outside for a walk each day which is good for both of you.

Be a volunteer
It is easy to get caught up in our own problems, so helping others can be a good way to put things into perspective. Visiting an elderly person, donating time at a local hospice or sorting out donations at a food bank are all ways you can give back and you never know, you could make friends and even find a new career in the process.

Go outside
Sitting indoors watching TV, working at a computer screen and drinking in the pub are all pretty sedentary activities where you rarely see the light of day and probably all make you feel worse. A walk, even when it is cold and damp, by the river or a dash around town will not only give you a change of scene but also put fresh air in your lungs and give you a break from the norm. Joining a tennis club, training for a fun run or just getting off the bus a stop early, can be enough to get you, and your mind, out of a stressed rut.

Of course, if you are really struggling talk to a trusted friend or your GP but don’t suffer in silence.

Team Pure Beauty