We all experience stress at some point in our lives. This could be caused by work, home life, traffic, or even negative encounters.
Stress can keep you awake at night and drain you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Symptoms of stress can even lead to higher anxiety levels and depression.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused added stress amongst many of us. You may be juggling working from home while watching your kids, wondering how you will make an income with your job being closed, or even have fears about getting the virus.
You are probably asking yourself, “when will this pandemic ever end?” We all want to feel our best, but sometimes stress can hold us back, especially now. It is important to learn some helpful tips on healthily managing stress from home.
Anxiety Is More Common Than You Think
With the demands of today, it is easy to see how anyone can feel overwhelmed, falling victim to the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
However, to avoid suffering physical and mental health issues resulting from chronic stress hormone exposure, it is essential that people find time to unwind.
Identify The Sources Of Stress In Your Life
Do not overlook your thoughts, opinions, and behaviors that contribute to your everyday stress levels. Starting a stress journal can be beneficial in figuring out the sources.
Write down what you are stressed about, how it made you feel, how you responded, and what you did to manage or reduce your stress.
It takes practice to learn how to manage stress. However, the five tips below should provide individuals with the information they need to create a plan for stress management.
Regular exercise offers an individual numerous benefits, one of which is helping the mind and body relax. Exercising is important for both physical and mental health.
Set fitness goals, however, be sure these goals are feasible; otherwise, the inability to meet them can lead to a feeling of discouragement. Even if an individual neglects to meet his or her goal, some exercise is better than no exercise at all.
Aim for at least 30 mins of activity daily. This may be the last thing that you feel like doing when you are stressed, but exercise will help release endorphins in your brain and make you feel better.
Exercises to consider include:
- Brisk walking.
- At-home workouts
- Walk your dog
- Go for a bike ride
- Run or jog
- Find somewhere to get outside and hike
For safety’s sake: Patients need to speak with their general practitioner before starting any exercise program.
Eating a well-balanced diet that is full of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains improves one’s general health and contributes to an overall feeling of wellness. Your nutrition and diet play a huge factor in your mental health.
Skipping meals can negatively affect an individual’s mood and increase his or her stress level.
Getting the proper nutrition your body needs and reducing caffeine and sugar will help you sleep better and feel more relaxed throughout the day. Avoid alcohol or drugs to mask your problems or stress.
This is only a temporary fix and will do more harm than good. If you need to make a run to the grocery store, try making a list before you go of healthy foods to purchase.
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion provides guidelines for the creation of a healthy eating routine. Those guidelines are available here.
Structure is beneficial because it helps reduce the amount of stress an individual feels about his or her daily demands. Time management is an important skill for everyone to learn. Not effectively managing your time can leave you with too much on your plate, not enough sleep, and less social time.
Try keeping a list and prioritizing all your tasks in order and checking them off as you go. Ask for help from coworkers or loved ones if you need them. Sometimes, we can’t complete projects all on our own.
If you are in a time crunch and need to get a project done by a deadline, do not be afraid to ask for a hand. If you are working from home, you should try to keep the same routine as working from the office as much as possible.
In addition, establishing a sleep routine and sticking to it can reduce stress and promote wellness. Ideally, aim for at least 7, but preferably 8 hours of sleep a night.
Individuals who tend to experience insomnia and those who have sleep apnea need to speak with their physician about managing these conditions.
The constant notifications of news alerts, text messages, and social media posts resulting from digital media can increase an individual’s stress level, therefore, schedule several breaks from social media platforms, the internet, and news throughout the day.
Even just limiting the amount of time spent on social media helps reduce stress.
Furthermore, reduce anxiety and stress by discontinuing the use of electronic devices from 30 to 60 minutes before heading to bed.
This digital curfew can be extremely beneficial because the artificial light emanating from computer screens, tablets, and smartphones can limit the amount of melatonin the body releases. Melatonin is the hormone responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
When the release of this hormone is disrupted, it is more difficult for an individual to get an adequate amount of sleep. In addition, exposure to these lights before bed makes sleeping soundly a challenge.
Give the mind a break from stress by participating in restful activities.
Carving out some time to yourself during the day is an effective way to reduce stress. Sometimes we get so caught up in life that we forget to take care of ourselves.
Here are some ways to relax:
- Reading a good book is a great way to relax and unwind. According to the World Literature Foundation, reading decreases heart rate lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress by up to 65%. Reading for only 6 minutes a day has been proven to calm and clear the mind.
- Do something you enjoy. Make time in your day to do something you love, whether this is cooking, playing guitar, drawing, etc.
- Add yoga into your routine. Yoga is a great way to center your mind and body. As you move through a series of stretches and deep breathing exercises, you may find that some of your stress and anxiety is reduced.
Restful activities include:
- Listening to music.
- Tai chi.
Health Issues That Can Develop Or Worsen Due To Chronic Exposure To Stress Hormones And Anxiety Include:
Individuals can use the five tips above to reduce their stress level, which will cause their body to decrease its production of cortisol and adrenaline.
- Cardiac disease.
- Dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease).
- Gastrointestinal issues (e.g., irritable bowel syndrome [IBS], gastrointestinal reflux [GERD]).
- Headaches, including migraines.
Stress increases the production of adrenaline and cortisol, which are the hormones responsible for triggering the fight-or-flight response. In the event of a true emergency or the possibility of mortal danger, this response is beneficial.
However, today this response may be triggered by less physically threatening situations (e.g., verbal disagreements, slow-moving traffic). This anxiety and daily stress can create a new health issue or worsen an issue that already exists.
At Harmony Bay, you can find thorough and comprehensive treatment for stress and anxiety in NJ.
Last Updated on April 18, 2022