I’ve had a rough week – holed up with the flu and still feeling the effects. One of the difficulties of having pre school children is that you pick up every bug going! However, I’ve still found time to carry on trying out the tips I received for week 2 of the Aviva Stress Less challenge in association with the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel. The challenge was to choose a few tips I would stick to for life. To be honest, all the tips I received from Aviva’s experts were great and easy to carry out. But I’m picking three here that I know I’m going to stick to – and that will mean less stress! Do today lists I always keep to do lists, but they tend to become long and unwieldy, and make me feel stressed just looking at them. The tip was simply to look at my lists the night before and mark those that are urgent for tomorrow – ‘do today’ tasks. This then means my mind has the chance to switch off that evening. I’ve found this so effective that I’ll be sticking with it. Eating berries and more foods containing tryptophan I like eating berries, but I don’t do enough of it! It’s easy to forget my own diet when I’m concentrating so much on the children – as evidenced by the bugs I keep picking up. Paddy Anson’s diet tips for me included stocking up on foods known to reduce blood pressure and levels of stress chemical cortisol, such as oranges and berries. I’ve been eating loads of these over the past week and definitely feel better for it. It’s such a simple part of my diet to implement that I’ll be sticking to this, too. My diet tips also included tryptophan-containing foods such as tuna. I’ve been eating a lot of tuna at lunchtimes and enjoyed it, and now I know it helps lower stress levels, I’ll be doing this more often. Chamomile tea I’m an avid coffee drinker, as my readers will already know. I’ve been substituting the odd coffee for chamomile tea and had forgotten how much I like it. It’s refreshing and calming, and cheap to buy. I’ll definitely be incorporating this into my lifestyle full term. I admit I’ve yet to try out the fitness tips I received at the end of week 1 – my lurgy has meant that I haven’t done any running at all! Rest assured I’ll be trying those out as soon as I’m back to being fighting fit and ready for my exercise plans again. In fact I’ve learnt so much from the Aviva challenge that I feel I’ve still got a lot to put into practice and learn from. I’m looking forward to incorporating more omega-3 foods into my diet, for example. In possibly one of the most stressful years of my life during which I’m planning a wedding, working and organising two children under 4, these tips have been really welcome. Here’s to a new stress less me! I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity.