“If not for stress and caffeine, I’d never get out of bed in the morning.”
There is a grain of truth in this old expression. In moderation, stress (caffeine too according to some studies) can play a positive role in our lives. Unfortunately, stress moderation, particularly in today’s world, can be a challenging goal to reach.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as National Stress Awareness Month, raising awareness of the causes and cures for dealing with stress in our lives. Over the last two years, pandemic shutdowns, increased medical concerns, lost jobs, increased loneliness, and a heightened sense of isolation make this cause more important than ever.
The Big Four
Yes, there are dozens of ways to manage stress, but most experts agree that these four activities are the place to start.
- Eat for Wellbeing: A well balanced, healthy diet allows your body to combat stress naturally, improving both your physical and mental health. Whole foods, fresh fruits, and in-season vegetables are a great place to start.
- Exercise: Here’s the great news about exercise and stress; you don’t have to kill yourself to make a big difference. Moderate exercise – walking, swimming, yoga, and other light activities – have been proven to be effective tools to reduce stress and improve your mental wellness.
- A Good Night’s Sleep: A healthy sleep routine helps your body and mind let go of the day’s tension and recharge for the day to come. A good night’s sleep helps you fight off anxiety and better deal with stressful situations.
- Socializing: The resulting isolation of the past few years has had a major impact on our stress levels. Socializing with others, being part of a community, provides a sense of belonging and connection to others. We feel more supported, accepted, and valued; all of which help lower stress and improve overall happiness.
More Great Advice
Looking for additional ways to fight stress? Here are some worthwhile links from the Stress Management Society, a UK based website dedicated to helping you de-stress your life.
- Adopt a Positive Mind Set
- Don’t be a Slave to Tech
- Get Moving to Combat Stress
- Learn to Say No
- Master Your Time
- Practice Deep Breathing
- Prioritize Your Health
- Stay Hydrated
We all deal with stress, but we do not have to be victim to it. Celebrate National Stress Awareness Month with a renewed commitment to your personal wellbeing and mental health.