Revitalizing your health may just be what you need to combat stress. This includes a well-rounded approach which includes both eating right and exercising. The mental and emotional aspects of your current state greatly affect not only your fitness schedule but also your health and overall happiness!
One of the greatest ways to boost your health is by reducing your stress. But as we all know, it’s difficult to find balance and cut out stress completely. From broken bones, to bills, to finding a babysitter - life is full of stressors both big and small. Events often happen around you that are completely out of your control. The first and possibly most important step in stress reduction for better health is accepting that you cannot control everything. Trying to do so only results in the feeling of having failed, when really you have overstressed yourself with an impossible and unrealistic feat. You deserve better!
Take a look at these few tips for stress reduction:
- Take 15-20 minute breaks. Sometimes time can seem like an overwhelming obstacle, but even when your schedule is booked up you need to take time for yourself! Walk away from your desk, your house cleaning, or even your studies for 15 to 20 minutes at a time and relax a little. Do something you enjoy such as reading or jamming out to your favorite playlist. Even something as simple as a warm shower can do wonders to reinvigorate your mind, help things seem more manageable, and push the stress away!
- Sleep at least 6 hours each night. Think of sleep as a deep breath for your mind. Sleep allows your brain to cycle through and process stress from the day. If you miss a restful night, a nap can help. But don’t substitute regular sleep for napping! Get on a regular sleep schedule and your mind and body will both thank you later.
- Manage your to-do list. Small tasks can creep up on you, even if you’re usually on top of everything. And an immediate deadline can be very stressful. Knock these stressors out of your life as much as possible by staying organized with tasks. If this means carrying a planner and marking things off of a daily or weekly to-do list - do it!
Seeing a physical representation of tasks reduces stress by making things seem more manageable. Checking off the boxes may just give you that sense of accomplishment you need to go on to the next thing.
- Smile. Smiling not only helps engage a better attitude from those you interact with, it also tricks your brain into thinking you are happier. In other words, smiling can give you a better attitude, too. Try it - it works!
- Set aside time to exercise. Exercise does not have to be 20 minutes spent each day on a treadmill. It can be turning on music and dancing while cooking dinner or shoveling the snow in the driveway before leaving in the morning. Be creative in incorporating exercise into your weekly routine. Each day can be different! Exercise induces the release of serotonin (a happy feeling hormone) in the body, thus fighting off stressful blues!
Take care of yourself not only by eating right and exercising, but also following these great tips for stress reduction. You’ll be less tense, happier, and better able to enjoy the little things! After all, the first step to a healthy self is a healthy mind. And when you take that first step, the rest will follow.
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