Stress is a natural part of life — which makes stress management an essential skill for us all. While stress will come and go for everyone, frequent and intense levels can lead to a whole host of physical and mental health conditions. Keeping stress manageable and minimal is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Keep reading to learn how to manage stress.
4 ways to manage stress
Improve time management
Setting a schedule and sticking to it is an effective way of managing your needs, and ensuring stress doesn’t pop up unexpectedly. This can look like blocking off an hour for a proper lunch, or a midday walk. This can also mean saying no when you know you’re overextending yourself. Having a clear schedule allows you to see where you’re putting your time, and where you may want to scale back.
Take care of your body
Our bodies do a lot for us — working 24/7 to carry us from moment to moment. We want to extend the same level of care to manage stress.
- Get enough sleep: 7-9 hours works best for most adults. Everyone is different, so pay attention to how you feel after a night’s sleep to find your sweet spot.
- Limit drugs and alcohol: While many reach for substances to reduce stress, putting these in your body does quite the opposite. Drugs and alcohol disrupt the natural rhythms of the body, making it work in overdrive to bring everything back to baseline. They also get in the way of key health factors like sleep.
- Exercise: Simply get your body moving. It doesn’t have to be in a gym — going for a walk, a bike ride, playing sports, or having a dance party all count. Movement gives your body a boost of happy chemicals.
- Eat nutritious food: Give your body the right kind of fuel to keep your brain sharp and moods stable.
Know your limits
We all have boundaries that, when crossed, lead to an overflow of stress. These look different for everyone. For some, it may mean needing a non-negotiable hour alone at the end of the day to unwind. For others, it can mean making time for social interaction. Or picking up a new hobby. Or saying no to that outing. Get to know your triggers and notice when you’re suddenly overwhelmed with stress. These are the situations we want to get good at managing — so we can prevent them before they happen.
Reach out for help
Sometimes stress can be too much and we need external support to feel like ourselves again. A registered clinical counsellor is an excellent resource for stress management. Wellin5 matches you to a personalized counsellor who meets your unique needs. By working with you 1-1 and examining your thoughts, feelings, behaviours, and lifestyle, a counsellor can help you get in charge of your stress. Lead a more peaceful lifestyle — get started today.