Stress – in one way or another, everyone on this little blue planet deals with it. Whether it’s in the workplace or the home, in our bodies or our minds, with family or among friendships, stress is a real factor that has a huge impact on our lives. It’s an every day battle, and unfortunately it can be a lifelong war. The good news we can fight back! In this day and age, there is an arsenal of weapons to combat everyday stress.
Three Healthful, Stress-Fighting Tips
1. Get Enough Sleep.
It’s crucial to human function that we all get enough sleep. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and our brains to recharge. Studies show that not getting enough – or getting low quality – sleep can have a dramatic effect on mood, judgement, memory and more. Most people between the ages of 18-49 need around six to eight hours of sleep each night. If you have trouble sleeping, especially due to worry, develop a routine that helps you get relaxed and ready for bed. Some gentle yoga, a warm bath with epsom salts, aromatherapy or chamomile tea can all help. And avoid screens! The blue light from TVs, laptops, tablets or smart phones have a directly negative effect on sleep quality.
2. Eat Well.
We all want to eat comfort foods when we’re stressed out, and it makes sense: your body is actually craving carbohydrates. Carbs produce serotonin, giving you those nice, happy feelings. But if you’re eating unhealthy carbs in the form of high fat meals (think pizza, chips, macaroni and cheese), those types of carbs will make you feel lethargic and less able to deal with stress. Aim for low fat, high fiber meals with the majority of the carbohydrates complex. Baked sweet potatoes, lentils, or veggies over rice are good options. A cup of coffee in the morning and an alcoholic drink with dinner are ok, but avoid drinking too much of either, as these stimulants can trigger more anxious feelings. Of course, a little chocolate now and then is allowed! 😉
3. Get Out There.
More than just recommending exercise (which is of course recommended), draw your focus away from worry. Intentionally set out to draw attention away from the things that are causing you stress. Joining a running club, drawing, painting, walking, reading, or volunteering are all good ideas. You may find yourself dealing with the situations that you’ve been worrying about much better after you’ve taken some time away to get out of your own head. And spend time with encouraging, supportive people, too. This article in Psychology Today explains why it’s so important to surround yourself with the right people during high times of stress!
Send A Little R & R
Is someone you know in the thick of a stressful time? From pampering spa gifts to flowers in soothing colors, GiftTree has tons of stress-fighting gift basket ideas. And hey, there’s nothing wrong with sending yourself a little relaxation, too!