6 Simple Tips to Reduce Stress That You Can Start Practicing Immediately
Stress. It’s the six letter word that we’re constantly told we need to avoid yet we all can’t seem to get away from it. There are so many things in our daily lives that can increase our stress levels: our jobs, relationships, finances, illness, and now - Covid-19.
With so many factors contributing to our stress levels, it’s more important now than ever that we’re putting self-care at the top of our lists and doing what we can to ensure that our stress levels remain low. While it may seem like there’s nothing in the world that can take away your stress, the truth is some of these simple tips and tricks are all it takes to help you feel calm and collected as you go about your daily routine.
1. Call a friend
We all have that friend or family member who can always put a smile on our face. Take a few minutes out of your day to really connect with someone important to you. A good conversation is good for the soul, and being able to talk about our fears and worries in a constructive way with someone we love is key to helping reduce stress. Even if your conversation isn’t about what’s stressing you out, taking time to relive a funny memory, or sharing a few laughs with someone is key to our mental well-being.
Putting pen to paper is a great way to get our thoughts out. Sometimes, just the act of writing down what we’re thinking can be therapeutic. If writing about your thoughts and feelings isn’t helping, then try just making a list. Sometimes we feel stressed when we’re unorganized, or feel overwhelmed with what we have going on. Organize your to-dos in a constructive way that will help you feel productive and in control of your situation.
3. Meditate or Pray
Take a few moments each day to sit alone in a quiet room and either meditate or pray. Studies have shown that both meditation and prayer are great ways to reduce our stress levels, increase our happiness, and even have positive effects on our concentration levels throughout the day.
4. Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is crucial to our health and to our stress levels. When we don’t get enough shut-eye, we can actually experience decreased memory, poor judgement, and altered mood. This can increase our anxiety levels and lead us to feeling even more stressed than ever. Experts say that we should aim to get 7-8 hours consistently every night so that we wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day.
5. Limit Screen Time
Limiting screen time before bed can assist with getting more sleep (and better quality sleep at night). Limiting our screen time throughout the day can also help reduce stress, especially right now amidst the overload of information being shared on social media regarding the coronavirus and social distancing. While we may be drawn to social media to be kept up to date and in contact with our friends and family, putting boundaries on the amount of time we spend on social media, and the quality of sources that we follow is huge for our mental health.
Exercise not only has profound effects on our physical health, but on our mental health as well. Exercise has proven time and time again to be a huge stress reliever and the act of getting in enough physical activity each day can boost our endorphins and our immune system. If you’re worried about going to the gym and being around large groups of people right now, you can always check out our app and be connected with an online personal trainer to set you up with a program that you can do at home.
Being able to recognize the triggers that cause our stress levels to spike is key in figuring out the best way to reduce our everyday stress. Find a method that works for you, and make sure to implement those practices every day, even if only for a few minutes at a time. Allow yourself time throughout the day to stop and take a deep breath and focus on your number one priority: you.