A cluttered inbox, tight deadlines, bills, arguments, and the storyline of your favorite contestant from The Bachelor… all very stressful things that we have to deal with. Being an adult is so fun.
While some stress can have a positive effect on you, taking on too much stress can cause major issues. It affects more than just mental health. After a while, it can begin to affect our physical health and cause burnout.
We experience stress in almost every aspect of life, that’s why it’s important to find effective methods of dealing with and managing stress. So, turn off The Bachelor (just kidding, DVR it for later), and check out some of these tips to help you recharge when you’re feeling stressed.
1. Get Moving
Engaging in any form of physical exercise can help you relax your mind and body. Whether you are a typical person or an athlete, working out enhances the production of feel-good endorphins and a whole lot of other chemicals that promote a sense of well-being.
However, you don’t need to beat yourself up in the gym, simple exercises like walking, swimming, cycling, gardening, and house cleaning are enough.
2. Listen to Your Body
Identify and recognize your physical signs of stress. Headaches, sickness, chronic pain, even digestive issues. Once you start to stress, your heart beats fasters, palms sweat, and your body is loaded with hormones like adrenaline.
Take a moment to reflect on the circumstances that led you into the situation you are in, and keep that negative voice in your head at bay with positive reinforcements. Keep a journal, make a list, and listen to soft tunes. Take a break, and reflect.
3. Lean On Loved Ones
Keeping a tight circle of friends that you can count on is invaluable. Good friends and family members can lend an ear, take on some of your stresses, and give excellent advice. Being part of a network of friends and family can significantly enhance how effectively you cope with stress.
A study conducted on women indicated that spending time with family and friends improved the production of a hormone known as oxytocin, which is a natural stress reliever.
4. Take time to unwind and pamper yourself
When you are feeling anxious and overwhelmed, you can indulge in activities that help you to feel reinvigorated and restored. For some, this includes going out for a spa day or simply staying in and taking a long bath at home.
Do something that you know helps soothe your soul, relax your body and replenish your mind. Even if you are unsure of what to try, think of it as an opportunity to try new things. Make it exciting and fun, not stressful and daunting.
One of the reasons as to why we get stressed is being in the same environment and doing the same task over and over. Packing up your bags and traveling to a new location can help you escape your mundane lifestyle and help you recharge and rejuvenate, even if it is a #staycation.
6. Get Some Rest, Seriously
Although lack of sleep is one of the signs of being stressed, it is an essential item that can help you recover. This is because when you are sleeping, the brain rests and the body recharges. Therefore, it is crucial that you have a quality sleep to improve your mood and concentration.
7. Develop Healthy Eating Habits
Eating a balanced diet will generally make you feel better. Incorporate healthier options into your diet such as whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Be sure to drink enough water on a daily basis. Fuelling your body properly allows it to function efficiently and you’ll notice the benefits pretty immediately.
An unhealthy diet is usually paired with other unhealthy lifestyle choices like consuming too much caffeine, alcohol, and smoking. Avoid these activities when possible, especially when you are trying to limit stress.
8. Make Time for Your Well-Being
When you are feeling stressed, set aside some time for your hobbies. Doing something that makes you feel good can help relieve stress and liven up your mood. It can be watching a movie, reading, playing golf, knitting, swimming or any other thing that excites you.
9. Try Meditation
People hear “meditation” and conjure up the image of monks. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that meditating is sitting cross-legged and chanting “om.” It’s much more than that.
Meditation invites a sense of peace, calm, and balance that benefits both physical and mental health. It helps you focus on the stream of jumbled thoughts that are clogging your mind, and assists you in visualizing and rearranging these thoughts. Inhale, exhale, repeat.
If you need help getting started, there are tons of apps dedicated to meditation including 10% Happier and popular app Headspace.
10. Lighten Up
One of the best ways to overcome stress is accepting that no matter how hard you try, you are human and you make mistakes.
Recognizing that some things are out of your control is the key to being able to move past the things that stress you out, especially the ones that you can’t change. Give yourself a break, and embrace life with an open heart.
Laugh everyday and savor every moment.
Since avoiding stress and anxiety is close to impossible, it’s important to find ways to manage them. This is by no means an exhaustive list, everyone has something that helps them to unwind. It’s imperative to take the time to do these things regularly, not just when it gets overwhelming. Even if it means taking on a little retail therapy. In the words of Donna from Parks and Rec, “Treat yo self.”