Within our everyday lives, we experience stress. We feel it in our bodies after a poor night of sleep or when we are worried about work, finances, or the people we care about. Everyone experiences it. However, learning healthy ways to cope with everyday stress can help you and your loved ones to become more resilient.
Physical and mental health are deeply intertwined, so it is important to ensure you are taking care of yourself by developing healthy habits.
- Eat Healthy: Maintaining a well-balanced diet can help reduce anxiety and regulate your mood. Fuel your body with the nutrients it needs by eating lean meats and unprocessed food such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Get Rest: Allowing your mind and body to rest and reset is another essential for your healthy. What is the best way to do this? Sleep. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep every night, while teenagers need 8-10. When this isn’t achieved, you cannot reap all its benefits, so make sure you take steps for quality sleep.
- Exercise: Regular exercise is a common way to reduce stress. In fact, just 20-30 minutes of physical activity benefits the body and mind, all while releasing stress-relieving hormones.
- Avoid Harmful Substances: Instead of helping you calm down, alcohol, drugs, and tobacco often increase your stress and can harm your body. If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, we have a wide range of programs designed to help you overcome your dependence and we are here to support you.
Take a Break from Stress
Finding time to unwind is a great way to take a break from stress. Whether you prefer to take deep breaths, stretch, listen to calming music, or meditate, taking 10-20 minutes of quiet reflection can bring relief from everyday stress. Setting aside time to do the things you enjoy can also be helpful.
Talk About Your Stress
Talking with friends and family can ease stress, anxiety, and depression levels and provide you with a sense of comfort, security, and joy. When you speak to someone you trust, they can remind you that you are not alone; they are there to support you. Consider asking them how they have dealt with similar situations in the past and find solutions together.
Break Down Your Stress
Most of all, remember that no one is perfect. Feeling stressed and overwhelmed over your day-to-day workload is normal. Breaking down your workload can make life stress more manageable.
- Create Checklists: Write down a list of the tasks that need to be completed and select one to start with. Once that is complete, check it off the list, and pick another. The positive feeling of checking a task off the list is satisfying, can reduce stress, and will motivate you to keep going.
- Say No: If the number of activities is still overwhelming, you may be taking on more than you can or should handle. Learn to say no to unnecessary activities. Prioritizing your mental health is essential in successfully coping with stress.
- Picture Your Success: If you often find yourself worrying about future situations, consider visualization as a technique to reduce stress. By imagining yourself successfully navigating a stressful situation, you can boost your self-confidence and enable yourself to take a more positive approach to the stressor.
At Zumbro Valley Health Center, we want you to know that it’s okay to not be okay. Everyday stress can be a lot. If you are having a difficult time managing stress on your own, know that you’re not alone. Reach out to one of our mental health professionals who can share techniques for coping with stress. We are always here to help you. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please call our crisis line at 844.274.7472, text MN to 741741, or call 988.