National Stress Awareness Day is just around the corner. Read this guide to learn how to celebrate by de-stressing.
National Stress Awareness Day is April 16th. What better motivation to figure out how to de-stress than a national day of awareness? If the thought of figuring out how to reduce the stress in your life stresses you out, you’re in the right place.
Keep reading for 8 strategies to “celebrate” National Stress Awareness Day by cutting out the stress in your life.
Consequences of Stress
Sure, we all know what happens when we get stressed out. Some of us overeat, some of us are frazzled and short-tempered, and others tend to get so overwhelmed, they stop doing everything.
Long-term stress starts to impact your physical and mental health. When your stress lasts indefinitely, you might experience stomach issues, declines in your cardiovascular health, and difficulties with your reproductive system.
In short, by not managing your stress effectively, you’re putting your health at significant risk.
National Stress Awareness Day: 8 Stress-Relief Strategies
Don’t let being stressed out be a badge of honor. Figure out what’s causing your stress and what strategies work best to minimize it. Here are 8 things you can try.
1. Identify Your Triggers
Think about what causes your stress. Is it work? Home life? Too many obligations? Whatever it is that is triggering your stress, figure out what it is and how to manage it.
Sometimes you might not be able to eliminate the stressor (like work), but you can take steps to minimize the stress or learn how to reduce stress before it gets out of control.
2. Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation aren’t for everyone. The goal of meditation is to focus on your breath and take focus off your thoughts, while the goal of yoga is to bring balance to your body. Both can be extremely beneficial in calming your mind and help improve your sleep as well, which is another thing that’s often negatively impacted by stress.
Another bonus when it comes to yoga and meditation is that you don’t need a lot of stuff to do either and you can practice both on your own – whether that’s in your office, at home, or even outside.
The health benefits of exercise have been well-established.
Exercise helps both your physical and mental health. Whether you’re taking a heart-pumping boot camp class or taking a walk around the park at lunch, getting up and moving will benefit you.
Exercise often improves your mood, clears your mind, and lets you focus on something else for a time.
4. Focus on Healthy Eating
By now, we all know of the benefits of a healthy diet.
Did you know that eating healthy can also help reduce or manage stress? Certain foods can boost serotonin, which calms your brain.
Others can cut the amount of cortisol and adrenaline in your system, which can impact your body negatively over time.
Healthy, unprocessed foods also help build up your immune system and lower your blood pressure. Combined with exercise, a healthy diet can not only help cut stress out of your life, but it can also improve your overall health and happiness.
5. Make Sure You Get Enough Good Sleep
Ah, sleep. We all want it and need it, but most of us are not getting enough of it. The amount of sleep you need depends on your age, but for most adults, between 7 and 9 hours is optimal.
Stress often makes it difficult to sleep, which then stresses us out, even more, becoming a vicious cycle of sleeplessness.
If you find that your sleep is less than ideal and it’s impacting your day-to-day life, try these strategies to improve your sleep and reduce your stress.
6. Find Time For Hobbies or Other Enjoyable Activities
Hobbies and activities are just more obligations to stress you out, right? Another thing to try to fit into your busy day? That’s an easy trap to fall into.
When we get overly busy and stressed out, things that often bring us joy typically fall by the wayside and are replaced by our daily responsibilities.
Making time for yourself and the things you like to do is necessary to reduce stress. Figure out what you need to do to find that time in your day or week. If it means scheduling a workout, a girl’s night, or a date night, then do it.
If you need to take a personal day now and then, send the kids to school, and spend the day on the couch watching Netflix – then do it.
7. Figure out What Works for YOU
The thought of yoga and meditation might sound like it would be more stressful to some people. Others might be getting plenty of sleep or eating healthy, they simply have a high-stress job. Once you figure out what’s triggering your stress, you need to figure out what works for you to reduce it.
If that’s not yoga, that’s fine. Maybe kickboxing or something more physical is the best stress reliever for you. Writing in a journal could help you get your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
Perhaps a massage or pedicure, coffee alone with a good book, or wine with the girls on a Friday night is more your speed.
8. Make Time for It
Whatever it is that works for you, find the time for it. Put it on your calendar, make your friends and family aware that it’s a commitment to yourself and must be kept, and do it.
Don’t wait around for things to change or for stress to disappear on its own.
Take the initiative to make it happen. You’ll thank yourself later.
Stress Less and Enjoy Your Life
Make sure you are taking care to keep yourself happy and healthy. Reducing stress is one way to do this. Don’t let National Stress Awareness Day pass you by without taking some steps to cut the stress in your life.
For even more resources on your health and happiness, check out some of our other blog posts and explore our health resources available to all patients.