No matter who you are, where you’re from or what you do, chances are you still deal with stress from time to time. Unfortunately, stress is often just a part of life—but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to ease stress. After all, excessive stress harms both your mental and physical health, so finding ways to reduce your stress is part of living a healthy lifestyle.
However, sometimes no matter what you try, your stress can get too big for you to handle—and that’s when it’s time to see a doctor. First, let’s look at ways you can try to reduce your stress. Then, we’ll detail what to do when none of your efforts seem to be working.
8 Tips for Stress Relief
1. Talk to someone. Whether it’s a friend, a coworker, your partner or a therapist, sometimes simply getting it all out there is a great way to relieve stress.
2. Exercise. Physical activity—even simply going for a walk outside—is one of the healthiest stress relievers you can do. A regular fitness routine benefits your body and your mind.
3. Take some “you” time. Whatever activity helps you relax (reading a book, watching a movie, getting a manicure, taking a nap), find some time in your schedule for self-care.
4. Meditate or unplug. Some people find a consistent meditation practice helps relieve their stress, while others just need to get away and “unplug” for a bit to clear their minds.
5. Take care of yourself. Prioritizing eating well and getting plenty of sleep can help make small stressors seem less unmanageable.
6. Get some perspective. It’s easy to let the little things add up. Instead of allowing small things to add to your stress, take a moment to shift your perspective and focus on what you can control.
7. Get organized. Along those same lines, staying organized throughout your day is one of those things you can control. That way, you’ll know that no matter what comes your way, you’re prepared to handle it.
8. Do something fun. When we’re dealing with something significant, doing something fun can seem frivolous. However, there’s no better antidote to stress than joy.
What to Do When Stress Relief Isn’t Working
Sometimes, no matter what we try, stress can simply feel like “too much.” If your stress begins to impact your ability to function during the day, it might be time to talk to your doctor. Some warning signs:
- You are having trouble sleeping
- Your anxiety keeps you from completing basic tasks
- Your performance at work begins to suffer
- You notice pain or tension in your back or shoulders
- Your thoughts become uncontrollably negative
- You are scared you may harm yourself
If any of the above signs are true for you, make an appointment to see a doctor as soon as possible to discuss treatment or medication options. However, if you feel you are a danger to yourself, don’t hesitate to seek immediate help. Reach out to someone you trust, call a crisis hotline or go to the emergency room. You deserve to live a life where stress feels manageable.
Think your stressors might be a lot easier to handle with a good night’s sleep? Download our free guide to a better night’s sleep here.