Chronic stress can be incredibly harmful to your mental and physical health. It can manifest itself in terrible ways that can leave you feeling defeated, overwhelmed, and burned out.
Sadly, there isn’t always an easy fix to chronic stress. Sometimes the solution isn’t too hard. If you’re in a bad relationship that’s giving you lots of stress, you might find it easiest to break up with that person.
On the contrary, it can be hard to separate from someone entirely if you share something together. This could be children or even a home you purchased together. At that point, the fix to your chronic stress becomes harder.
However, not all is lost. There is hope in the struggle against chronic stress. Here are six ways you can alleviate chronic stress.
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s still worth mentioning. Exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress. It releases endorphins that make you feel good, and it also allows you to blow off some steam.
If you don’t have time to go to the gym, that’s okay. There are plenty of exercises you can do at home. You could take a brisk walk, do some Yoga, or even lift weights.
Eat healthier foods
Another way to combat stress is by eating healthy foods. This means avoiding processed foods or alcohol and having a balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and plenty of water.
The main issue with processed foods is that they are high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. On the other hand, alcohol is a risky substance that can stay in your system for a while and be easily abused if overconsumed. Unfortunately, our bodies might crave these products during high periods of stress. These products do more harm, though, and can increase feelings of anxiety and stress.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is crucial for optimal health, including mental health. When you don’t get enough sleep, your stress levels increase. This is because sleep deprivation leads to fatigue, making it difficult to cope with stress.
Aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night. If you find it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep, try implementing some of the following tips:
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed
- Establish a regular sleep schedule
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark
- Avoid using electronics in bed
Take breaks throughout the day
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress, it can be tough to take a break. However, breaks are crucial for managing stress. When you take a break, you give your body and mind a chance to relax.
This could mean taking a five-minute break to walk around your office or taking a complete hour-long break to go for a walk or eat lunch. Breaks allow you to refresh and recharge, making it easier to cope with stress when you go back to whatever task you’re dealing with.
Practice meditation or mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation are two great ways to manage stress. They both teach you how to be in the present moment and how to focus on your breath.
If you’re new to meditation or mindfulness, start by practicing for five or ten minutes a day. As you get better, you can gradually increase the time.
Engage in leisure activities
Leisure activities are a great way to relieve stress. When you engage in leisure activities, you’re not focusing on your problems or stresses. This allows your mind and body to relax.
Some leisure activities include reading, listening to music, playing sports, and spending time with friends and family. You could also consider activities designed to help you relax, like going to a spa or getting a massage for stress relief.
Managing chronic stress can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Don’t give up and try out some of these techniques. You might be surprised by your results.