You probably know that stress is very bad for your overall health. But there’s a big difference between understanding that you need to reduce the stress in your life (and wanting to make it happen) and actually being able to do it. After all, many of the factors in our lives that cause us the most stress and anxiety are things that are out of our control.
That said, you’re not doomed to be overwhelmed, burnt out, and anxious forever. While you might not be able to completely cut out everything that contributes to you feeling stressed, you can learn to manage your stress better, starting with these 4 tips.
Learn to Say No
So many of us overcommit to activities, which leads to us feeling run down and overwhelmed with our schedules. While it can be hard to set boundaries, it’s important to learn to say no—this applies to both work and social commitments.
You might feel pressured to always say yes when your friends ask you to meet up after work because they need someone to talk to, but if you’re already exhausted and still have stuff to do around the house, you’re better off saying no. That doesn’t mean you’re not being there for them, it means you’re showing up for yourself. If you want to, you can offer to make plans at a time that works better for you later in the week.
The same goes for work. Everyone wants to be the best employee by showing that they’re willing to go above and beyond. However, this is often at the expense of their own mental health. Instead of always saying yes, learn how to respectfully and professionally say no to overreaching demands from your boss. You have every right to protect your work-life balance and you should.
Take Advantages of All the Innovative Stress-Relief Products
Although it might feel like it, it’s not just you who lives in a state of heightened stress nearly all the time. Many people are finding themselves more and more stressed as they try to live up to the busy lifestyle standard of today. One good thing that’s come out of this trend is that there are now a plethora of products designed to help people unwind.
Here are some things you can try to help manage your stress:
- Lavender-scented pillow spray that helps you fall asleep
- Meditation apps that help you center yourself
- Self-reflection journal to write down the good and bad of the day
- Weighted blanket to help you deal with anxiety and restlessness
- Delicious stress-relief gummies to take when you’re feeling on edge
One of the reasons you may be feeling so stressed is because you’ve been neglecting your personal needs. Many of us fall into this habit without even noticing. It can be easy to get caught up in working late, rushing home to make dinner, sitting down to eat with your family, spending time with your partner, then finally hitting the hay just in time to get a few hours of sleep before doing it all again the next day.
Start carving time out for yourself each day. Actively practicing self care is essential to your mental health and can help you start feeling more fulfilled with your life. If you’re not sure where to start, these are some popular self-care routines:
- Reading for an hour before bed
- Practicing yoga in the mornings
- Getting a weekly massage
- Doing a face mask and watching your favorite show
- Taking a luxurious bath, complete with a high-quality bath bomb
- Writing down positive affirmations
- Gardening on weekends
Try to dedicate 30 minutes to an hour a day to self-care and see the difference it makes in your quality of life.
Exercise & Eat Well
Our body is better equipped to manage stress and the demands of daily life when we’re healthy. As you know, when you exercise, your brain releases endorphins which help you feel happier. Exercising regularly can also help release tension and clear your mind. Try to find time in your schedule to work out four or five days a week to get all the benefits of exercise.
Healthy eating helps your body function properly, including your brain. There are even certain foods you can eat that help improve your mood and reduce anxiety-like:
- Dark chocolate
- Brazil nuts
You can also drink chamomile and green tea to help you relax after a long day.
By putting these tips into practice, you can take back some control in your life and reduce the impact of stress on your overall well-being. Once you do, you’ll be wondering how you ever lived how you did before.