Rates of stress are rising, with challenges around family responsibilities, the quest for work life balance, the economy and the sandwich generation caring for an aging population with health concerns while raising their own kids. Managing stress is really important from a mental health perspective. Too much stress can impact your health, your ability to function at school, work or in your family and generally takes away from the enjoyment of day to day life. The more tools you have in your toolbox to deal with it, the better equipped you will feel. Here are some ideas on how to manage stress in a healthy way:
- Take a break. Sometimes we are too close to a problem to see a solution. If you can walk away even for a short period of time, you might be able to consider the issue from a different angle.
- Schedule time outs. Rest is so important. A well rested body and mind is better able to deal with challenged than a tired, overworked brain.
- Automate where you can. Often stress results from decision fatigue, making too many decisions throughout the day. Wherever you can plan, schedule and otherwise outsource the mental energy required for decision making, consider doing so.
- Look at your diet. Planning ahead with meal planning or meal delivery services can reduce your overall stress load by removing one more thing for you to organize or decide on in the moment. Set yourself up for success by taking time to plan to nourish yourself.
- Yoga. Don’t get bent out of shape, spend more time getting bendy. Yoga can be very beneficial from a stress management perspective.
- Get Musical. Music can help reduce stress. Pick something calming and enjoy the harmonies, melodies and time spent being mindful and just listening.
- Get a massage. Can you feel your muscles tensing as you ruminate over a challenge? Getting a massage can help short circuit the tension in your body and get you back on track.
- Connect with nature. Going to the beach can help you stay calm because other than the benefit of actually being in a relaxing environment, the colour blue is soothing and researchers say staring at waves puts your brain into a meditative state.
- Consider getting a pet. A dog can help you stay active with regular walks, pets can offer emotional support and they support the development of a daily routine.
- Talk it out. Stress can be isolating. Feeling like you’re dealing with a problem all by yourself can be overwhelming. Bouncing ideas off your friends, family or a trusted counsellor like one from Wellin5 can be so helpful. Keep in mind that therapy doesn’t need to be a reactionary approach to deal with stress, maintaining your mental health can help prevent stress in the future.
Stress can be really problematic for your body, but it doesn’t have to be. If you spend time applying some of these tips, you can get a better handle on your stress level. Best of luck in reducing your stress levels and finding new ways to get the most out of life.