These days it’s hard not to get overwhelmed once in a while. Between juggling work, family, and other commitments, you can become too stressed out and busy. But you need to set time aside to unwind or your mental and physical health can suffer.
Learning how to manage your stress takes practice, but you can — and need to — do it. Here are 5 ways to make it easier.
Working out regularly is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind. Plus, exercise will improve your mood. But you have to do it often for it to pay off.
So how much should you exercise every week?
Good: At the very least, 3 to 5 times for 30 minutes
Better: 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise like brisk walks
Best: Add 75 minutes of a vigorous exercise like swimming laps, jogging, or other sports that gets your heart rate up
Focus on setting fitness goals you can meet so you don’t give up. Most of all remember that doing any exercise is better than none at all.
2. Relax Your Muscles
When you’re stressed, your muscles get tense. You can help loosen them up on your own and refresh your body by:
Enjoying a massage
Taking a hot bath or shower
Getting a good night’s sleep
3. Deep Breathing
Stopping and taking a few deep breaths can take the pressure off you right away. You’ll be surprised how much better you feel once you get good at it. Just follow these 5 steps:
Sit in a comfortable position with your hands in your lap and your feet on the floor. Or you can lie down.
Close your eyes.
Imagine yourself in a relaxing place. It can be on the beach, in a beautiful field of grass, or anywhere that gives you a peaceful feeling.
Slowly take deep breaths in and out.
Do this for 5 to 10 minutes at a time.
4. Eat Well
Eating a regular, well-balanced diet will help you feel better in general. It may also help control your moods. Your meals should be full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein for energy. And don’t skip any. It’s not good for you and can put you in a bad mood, which can actually increase your stress.
5. Slow Down
Modern life is so busy, and sometimes we just need to slow down and chill out. Look at your life and find small ways you can do that. For example:
Set your watch 5 to 10 minutes ahead. That way you’ll get places a little early and avoid the stress of being late.
When you’re driving on the highway, switch to the slow lane so you can avoid road rage.
Break down big jobs into smaller ones. For example, don’t try to answer all 100 emails if you don’t have to — just answer a few of them.