Here are 5 ways to manage stress to help you stay physically and emotionally healthier.
Stress can negatively affect many aspects of your mental and physical health. It can impact how you sleep, your ability to lose or maintain weight and your productivity at work. Chronic stress can also contribute to serious health issues, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. That’s why it’s important to be proactive about managing stress as part of your everyday routine. You also need to find ways to respond to unexpected things that arise and cause you stress.
Managing everyday stress helps you become more resilient to handling unexpected stressors that can hit hard and when they’re least expected. Here are 5 tips to help you routinely manage stress:
- Exercise. Physical activity is a big help in managing stress. The key to sticking with an exercise routine is to find something you like doing. Try a new activity, workout with a friend or channel your inner child and do something you used to enjoy when you were younger, like hula hooping or riding a bike.
- Eat right. When you stick to a healthy eating plan, your blood sugar remains more stable throughout the day, leaving you better able to manage what life throws at you. In contrast, eating in response to stress – which often includes choosing foods loaded with sugar, salt or fat – can send you on an emotional and physical rollercoaster ride.
- Sleep. Your body requires sleep to function at its best. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night and try not to let your busy life get in the way of the sleep you need. Remind yourself that a good night’s rest makes you more effective at handling your long to-do list during the day.
- Socialize. It’s important to have a network of people you can turn to for support or when you just want to unload. Schedule time with friends to do something fun, be active together or just talk.
- Relax. You need to fit time in your day to relax and unwind. It doesn’t have to be a lot of time. Spending even just a few minutes each day to focus on you will help you manage stress better. Read a book, write in a journal, get a massage or go outside to enjoy the fresh air.
These healthy habits will not only help you manage stress, but they can help improve your physical and emotional health in many ways.
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Date Last Reviewed: January 31, 2020
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Alexis Elliott, LCSW, CDE, CHES, CSPC