Be prepared: how to stress-proof your body!

Stress can creep up on us without us noticing, especially when things get busy at work or college. This tension can in turn lead to anxiety, mood changes and even insomnia.

How to stop it? Get the stress before it gets you by building a strong mind and body.

Here are a few simple tips to better manage stress and to ensure it doesn't overwhelm you…

1. Eat well to stay sharp and in good shape
Stodgy, heavy carbs like white bread and salty crisps will leave you feeling sluggish and will also cause your blood sugar levels to fluctuate, meaning you're more likely to experience tiredness and mood swings. By eating more whole grains and fruit and veg you'll naturally feel more focused and energised. Avoid overdosing on caffeine – skip the coffee unless you're seriously wrecked.

2. Have a happy cry
Not all tears equal sadness. Having a good cry from time to time can actually help to release the chemicals built up by stress. If you don't have time to sit through Sleepless in Seattle, we suggest a soldier surprise homecoming video – they never fail!

3. Make your exercise work for you
Join a yoga class, get out for a walk or run, or enjoy a weekend cycle. Whatever it is that helps clear your mind and get you feeling energised – do it, and often.

4. Take time to yourself
Surrounding yourself with other people all the time can wear you out. Take time out for yourself – grab your favourite book, take the dog for a walk or just relax. You'd be surprised how quickly it helps.

5. Try herbal stress relief
A herbal tea like chamomile or peppermint can really relax you before bed, or at any time of day. Essential oils like lavender are great for reducing stress – put a couple of drops in your bath or on your pillow to help calm you down in the evenings.

6. Maintain a positive attitude when you can
It's easy to get bogged down in our worries and anxieties, but by making an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you can learn to better cope with stress. Accept that you cannot control everything and that sometimes things simply won't go to plan.