These days it seems that stress is a part of life and it’s hard not to find yourself overwhelmed occasionally.
Not only is stress hard on the mind, but it’s hard on the body.
Stress can lead to an array of health problems including high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, headaches, trouble sleeping, fatigue, an upset stomach and so much more.
April is Stress Awareness Month, so what better time to share some ways to help manage those stressors before they get out of hand?
Exercise. Working out regularly is one of the best ways to relax your mind and body. Plus, in the words of Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy and happy people don’t kill their husbands.” Find something you enjoy doing whether it’s weight lifting, running, group fitness classes, yoga, tennis, dancing… the options are endless! Aim to get at least thirty minutes of physical activity 3-5 days a week.
Relaxation Techniques. When you’re stressed, muscles get tense and can just make you hurt all over. A warm bath, meditation, yoga, deep breathing, massage or even just some simple stretches can help relax the body and reduce tension.
Laugh about it. Sometimes, all you can do is embrace it and laugh. Laughing is an instant mood-lifter because it triggers a release of endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” chemicals. It also decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies which improve your resistance to disease.
Spend time with family and friends. Stress can overwhelm our minds and cloud our judgment making it hard to see things clearly and rationally. Those that love you and know you best can quickly change your mindset when times get tough. Talking through the things causing you stress can help calm you down as well as offer new perspective since family and friends may offer solutions or advice that you haven’t considered.
Make time for hobbies. Whether it’s reading, boating, fishing, painting, photography, sports or something else, spending some time doing something we enjoy is a great way to manage stress. Try to take at least a few minutes every day to spend time doing something that brings you joy. Just 10-15 minutes will help relax you and relieve stress.
Take a Walk. Even if you just have a few minutes to spare, it’s amazing how much stretching your legs and getting outside to soak up some Vitamin D can change your mood.
How do you manage stress? We asked our team and here were some of their answers.
“Working out and cleaning. It’s amazing how much my mood can change after a little sweat session. As far as cleaning goes, I don’t love the process, but I LOVE the aftermath. And there’s just something about a clean house that puts me at ease.”- Amy
“I like to take a nap! I always wake up with a fresh perspective.” – Robin
“Clean (specifically dishes), go outside, work out, purge closets, play with the dogs, and then scream if needed!” – Shawna
“Run, lift weights or take an Epsom salt bath. Or, take a vacation!” – Bill
“I like to go for a walk or call my dad, preferably at the same time. There’s something about his wisdom and perspective that can calm me in any situation.” – Karla
“Cleaning or picking up is a stress reliever for me. It’s something mindless that I can do that gets my heartrate up and the literal decluttering of my desk, office or house helps declutter my mind and refocus.” – Bridget
“Exercise, be active, get outside for a walk!” – Cathy
“I like to get outside & sit on the swing with an ice-cold tea to sip on. Music helps too.” – Renee
“Getting outside, especially for a hike in the mountains. But, it’s amazing how a midday walk in the park will reset my mood and stress level.”- Bonnie
“I take my crazy dog for a walk through the neighborhood around the lake. It’s very relaxing and clears my head.” – Laura