Sometimes it can feel like there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done that you want or need to accomplish. From work duties and family responsibilities to finances, errands and appointments, day-to-day stresses can start to pile up and unfortunately take their toll on your health. Add in all the holiday commitments and hoopla, and stress levels can really go through the roof! The good news is, there are steps you can take to reduce stress in your life and in turn the damaging effects it can have.
Get plenty of sleep. Worrying can cause you to toss and turn at night, which will only add to your anxiety. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation, or soothing tea before crawling into bed. You might even try aromatherapy, using essential oils with calming scents such as lavender on your body or pillowcase.
Avoid caffeine. This will help you sleep better and keep your heart rate down, along with that jittery, anxious feeling.
Exercise. This, too, can help you sleep better at night and relieve stress. In fact, it actually has scientific proof to back it up! Exercise gets your blood pumping and releases stress hormones as well as endorphins, so it not only lightens your anxiety, but also your mood.
Spend time with friends – including pets! Social support, laughter and companionship are all great stress relievers. That’s because they release a chemical in your brain called oxytocin, which is a natural stress buster that reduces tension and helps you relax.
Do yoga. Now’s the time to try that yoga class you’ve been considering! Yoga relaxes your body and your mind, helping with both your physical and mental health. Got other hobbies that make you happy? Making time for them in your busy schedule will help keep stress levels at a minimum.
Manage your time. Make sure you don’t place too many expectations on yourself. In other words, keep your to-do list realistic, elicit help when needed, don’t procrastinate, and learn to say no. It’s okay if you don’t attend every party or volunteer at every event.
Let go of what you can’t control. Not every stressor is in your control, so don’t worry about things that can’t be changed. If you are aware of situations that trigger stress, try to avoid them.
Listen to soothing music. Slow-paced, soft music or even sounds of nature can have a relaxing response, lowering your blood pressure, heart rate, and stress. This is also another great option to help you get that quality sleep you need.
Try relaxation techniques. If you feel anxiety starting to build, try taking a deep breath, counting to ten and hitting the “reset” button so to speak. Closing your eyes and picturing yourself in a relaxing situation can help as well.
When you keep your stress down, you keep your heart healthy and your blood flowing, improving your overall health and avoiding stress-related medical issues. Before the holidays hit, follow these tips to lower your stress and your risk of health problems that can result from it. For more information, just give us a call at 231-739-9461. We want you to have a happy, healthy holiday and beyond.