The best celebrity tips for keeping calm in a frenzied world

Life is stressful and relentless at times, and we all need a little help with unwinding when things get tense. Luckily Ruby Wax is on hand, speaking to Claudia Winkleman about the debilitating effects of modern life, and identifying a few everyday habits that seem to drag at our ability to relax.

So with Ruby's advice ringing fresh in our ears, here are a few other tips from Radio 2 guests on how to live a more relaxed life:

Leave for work earlier

So many of us are only motivated by deadlines, which means leaving things until the last minute, including the commute to work, and maybe working through lunch and putting headphones on to keep colleagues at bay because there's so much to do.

Dr Ellie Cannon has an interesting idea on how you can use your time better, to get the most out of your day and dramatically reduce stress: "As difficult as it may seem, is it actually worth leaving half an hour earlier, travelling a bit slower, so you're not arriving at work with your blood pressure already up and your heart already racing. Do you take your lunchbreaks? Do you bother to connect with your colleages? All of these, what are called micro-actions are tiny little things that actually improve your resilience to cope with your job."

Remember to smile

Embarrassing Bodies star Dr Dawn Harper has a very interesting theory about how best to maintain your health and wellbeing. In conversation with Steve Wright about how to live longer and more healthily, she reveals some of the little things that can help maintain a long and healthy life. These include: giving your liver two nights off from alcohol per week, not sitting still for too long and sleeping well.

But the most interesting thing she discovered was a report suggesting a correlation between smiling and long life, which suggests that a laugh and a smile might help keep you young.

Be sensible with your health regime

Fitness instructor Joe Wicks has some really good rules for making sure you don't get too stressed about health and fitness, which would undo all the good work in getting healthy and fit in the first place.

These include: don't go on a diet or count calories; don't weigh yourself - try taking monthly progress selfies instead and don't worry unduly about what you eat, so long as you're active enough to burn it off.

Consider taking up an instrument...

One of the most inspiring things about listening to impressionist Alistair Macgowan discuss taking up the piano in his thirties is that he breaks down playing an instrument into small, manageable jobs. He talks about learning one piece at a time, spending a bit of time regularly poring over it, in the way other people might do crosswords or sudoku.

And having started as an adult who is keen to learn, rather than a reluctant child, he found himself getting a lot further with the instrument than his childhood Grade 2 results might suggest.

...or jigsaw puzzles

You don't have to be artistic or crafty to enjoy the distraction and satisfaction of a hobby. Kelly Macdonald came in to Radio 2 to talk to Steve Wright about some of her latest projects, and while discussing her workload, she revealed she has a soft spot for jigsaw puzzles, and she's hardcore: "I think it's not worth doing anything less than 1,000 [pieces]"

Try some simple cooking

The idea of making a nutritious meal that is more complicated than beans on toast can be enough to stress anyone out at the end of a hard day. But luckily Mary Berry is on hand to recommend simple recipes using common household ingredients that dispense with all but the most essential spices.

It's just a matter of keeping things as straightforward as possible while still giving yourself the satisfaction of having made something well. And don't be afraid of cutting the right corners, as Mary herself explains: "I am quite a good cheat."

Look after your four pillars

Dr Rangan Chatterjee spoke to Steve Wright about the four pillars on which our wellbeing rests - sleep, food, relaxation and movement. He points out that stress has a negative effect on all four, but that it doesn't take a lot of effort to restore each one.

A little light movement, some time sitting quietly without an electronic device in hand, a decent meal enjoyed slowly and some uninterrupted shut-eye can have a tremendously restorative effect. Start with the movement and work forwards from there and you'll be right as rain.

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