It seems like stress is becoming more and more common today, and is a topic that is brought up a lot. We all have busy lives and go to bed with a to-do list running through our heads for the next day, right? It’s important to note that stress actually has a bigger impact on our health than you might think, and it takes more than just a bubble bath to really relieve or reverse the effects stress has on our wellbeing. (Having said that, bubble baths are definitely encouraged!)
It’s estimated that around 80% of doctor visits are related to chronic stress. Stress comes in many forms and differs from person to person. Most common forms of stress are work or family related; however, a poor diet and lack of sleep can also send the brain negative signals which in turn produce stress hormones. The simple fact is stress is just a thought and one that we control. We have the power to change the perception of any situation but it’s not always as simple as that. Below are some helpful tips to help you relieve stress and create more balance.
- Get moving! Any form of physical activity can relieve stress – even if it’s just a short walk.
- Eat a healthy diet and reduce processed food. This is kind of a no-brainer! 90% of serotonin (the happy hormone) is produced in our gut. This actually means that eating well can actually elevate our happiness and reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
- Get adequate sleep. Sleep is so important. It’s when our body resets and recharges. If you are getting less than seven hours of sleep a night, you need to reprioritize your bedtime routine. The saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” is not a sign of strength or a badge of honor – it’s poor self-care!
- Clean up your space. Think about it for a second: If you come home from a stressful day at the office to a messy house, you are only going to feel more stressed. Having a clean, calm environment will instantly relieve you of tension. Messy living space, messy headspace!
- Write it down or talk it out. Sometimes simply getting feelings of stress or anxiety off your chest can work wonders on your mood. Bottling things up will only cause long-term unhappiness and will eventually come to a head. Get a journal or talk to a trusted friend.
- Practice self-care. I know I say this all the time, but self-care is NOT selfish. It means you value yourself. The way you show up for yourself is the way you will show up for others. Taking time each day to do something kind for yourself that makes you feel good is extremely important. It doesn’t have to cost money, or take up too much time; it just has to be something that makes YOU feel good. Like I said, bubble baths are encouraged (as are lighting candles and pouring a glass of wine… are you with me?!)
Overtime, stress can weaken the immune system, causing greater susceptibility to illness. It can tighten muscles and cause chronic pain and frequent headaches.It can also lead to a low libido and in some cases depression. Prioritize yourself, your health, and well-being. It really will have a huge impact on not just your own mental health but also your physical health. Showing up for yourself will improve the way you show up for others. It will make you a better parent, partner, friend or whatever it is that you are. You DO deserve to feel good and be happy.