Juggling the daily demands of work, school and family life isn’t easy. Between work deadlines, school exams and raising children, many of us experience different levels of overwhelm and stress. Finding the time to relax may feel impossible but it is achievable with the right tools. Here are 5 ways you can reduce the stress in your life.
1) Getting Enough Sleep
Our body undergoes a series of biological responses when we experience stress. Certain hormones and neurotransmitters are released as a result of changes affecting the natural state of the body. In fact, several hormones work together to help regulate your sleep-wake cycle. When prolonged stress occurs, this cycle becomes disrupted setting off a cascade of physiological effects such as moodiness, cognitive impairment, and behavioral changes.
The struggle for many is creating a daily routine that promotes good sleeping habits.
The following approaches can be used to help you get a good night’s rest.
- Putting your phone on silent an hour before going to bed. This prevents you from checking any alerts and notifications that go off. This approach is also helpful because it allows you to start your nightly routine without interruptions, which can further delay going to bed on time.
- Having a bright light on acts as an external stimulus, encouraging the body to stay awake. Therefore, similar to putting your phone on silent, turn off the lights at least 30 minutes before going bed.
- Reading a book is a great way to relax and to gradually fall asleep.
Creating a sleep schedule will benefit you in many ways. Play around with different methods to determine what works for you. Once you figure it out, become consistent with implementing it. Over time it will become second nature and you’ll feel much more rested each day.
2) Eat A Balanced Diet
Getting proper nutrition provides your body with essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients allow you to have the physical energy needed to make it through the day. A poor diet affects the way your body responds to stress. Research studies have shown when the body experiences stress, GI absorption, intestinal permeability, and mucous & stomach acid secretions are affected.
Read More: The Importance of Gut Health
In order to limit some of these negative effects, try meal prepping. When your meals are planned in advanced it eliminates having to scramble at the last minute to cook something. Taking these steps can make your day much easier.
Pinterest is an excellent source to use if you’re looking for recipe inspiration. This approach allows you to determine what you need to purchase and helps to reduce overspending which is a bonus.
3) Create A Daily Schedule.
You can create a similar daily schedule with the following approach:
- Make a list of your daily non-negotiable tasks (ex: work, school & home)
- Rank the order in which you want to accomplish each task (easiest to hardest or vice versa)
- Create a time block to work on each task
This is a great way to reduce your stress level because as you cross things off your list you build momentum. There’s nothing better than when you reach the end of a long to-do list!
4) Engage In Physical Activity
Exercising increases endorphins released in your body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that produce what’s referred to as “runners high”. When you exercise these levels increase, resulting in you feeling energized.
It’s recommended to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week and around 1 hour of vigorous exercise such as jogging or swimming. Creating a workout plan will help you develop good exercise habits which will help to reduce daily stress.
Read More: How To Create A Workout Plan
5) Schedule A Self Care Day
Setting aside time to treat yourself is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Neglecting your mental, physical and spiritual well-being can add to the negative emotions experienced during stressful moments. Spending time enjoying your favorite things helps you to deal with stress in a positive and productive way.
Whether you decide to spend time with family, go to a spa, or sit in bed watching TV, practice scheduling a self-care day. You will be surprised how engaging in meaningful activities during this time improves your overall mood.
Finally, learn to take each day as it comes and remember no matter how difficult things may be today, tomorrow is a new beginning.