Stress is a part of life. Everyone experiences it from time-to-time. According to the American Psychological Association, 75% of adults reported experiencing moderate to high levels of stress in the past month, and nearly half reported that their stress has increased in the past year.
The effects of stress can be crippling if experienced for any length of time. Below are some strategies that can help you manage your stress better.
Set aside time for fun and relaxation
- Take a walk/spend time in nature
- Work in your garden
- Spend time reading a good book
- Listen to music
- Take a long bath and light candles
- Watch a movie/comedy
- Get a massage
Connect with others
- Build a robust support system and spend time with positive people who are encouraging and bring joy to your life
Implement a healthy lifestyle
- Exercise regularly – very beneficial in reducing and preventing the effects of stress. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three days a week.
- Eat a healthy diet – focus on getting a well-balanced diet throughout the day. Incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, healthy fats, beans, legumes, nuts, water, and avoid foods high in sugar, sodium, or saturated fat.
- Get an adequate amount of sleep – sufficient sleep can help fuel your mind and body.
Avoid unnecessary stress
- Take control of your environment – avoid watching things that bring stress or anxiety, change driving routes around if a certain way causes stress, etc.
- Set boundaries for yourself and know your limits – learn to say “no” and don’t accept any new responsibilities if it causes stress, avoid overscheduling yourself, etc.