We’ve written before about how lowering your stress can lower your risk of heart disease before, but as we move into the stress of the holidays, we thought you could use some calming reminders. Often, we spend so much time and effort focusing on our physical health it can be easy to forget how closely related our mental health is to our overall well-being.
Take some time for yourself and try one of these tips for lowering stress:
- Meditate. Don’t underestimate the power of silence and a few deep breaths. Try starting the day with 10-20 minutes of focused calm. You’ll feel clearheaded and centered.
- Exercise. Whether you’re doing a fast paced cardio workout or a soothing yoga routine, exercising can provide uninterrupted “you” time. Plus, the release of endorphins will give you an extra boost to face your stressors.
- Talk It Out. Sharing your stress with a friend or trusted confident can work to lighten the weight on your shoulders and help you gain perspective on how to tackle your troubles.
- Play Outside. Getting back to nature and taking in some sunshine for a vitamin D kick will boost your mood and relax you.
- Drink Tea. While all hot beverages can have calming properties, certain teas (like chamomile) are well known for reducing anxiety and relaxing your body.
- Pet Your Pet. Several studies have been done on the mental health benefits of owning a pet. Spend some time snuggling your furry friend to calm down from a tough day.
- Write It Down. Journaling or list making can be a great way to “get out” what might be stressing you out. When you’re not bottling things inside, they can feel easier to handle.
- Give Back. Find a way to donate your time to a worthy cause. Not only will you feel good about your charity work, but you also might gain perspective on whatever has been dragging you down.
- Treat Yourself. Book a massage or nail treatment to feel pampered and taken care of. Once you’re refreshed, you can get back to facing your stress head on.
- Take a Walk. Besides combining the benefits of exercise with the benefits of being outside, going for a walk can also give you much needed thinking time to clear your head.
However, if you start to feel like your stress is negatively affecting your health or becoming too much to handle, seek a doctor’s advice as soon as possible.
What are your favorite ways for handling stress? Leave some more tips in the comments section below.