Do you ever feel that stress is too big of a part of your life? Too much stress can get you down, and even lead to concerns such as weight gain, reduced productivity and ability to concentrate, and increased risk for health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
But it is possible to manage stress better. While you may not be able to eliminate stress entirely (though who would want to? Life might be boring!), you can take steps to prevent stress from being harmful. Always remember that it is best to ask your healthcare provider whenever you have health concerns and before using any nutritional.
Create a “to-do” list.
We all have a lot to do, but it does not have to be overwhelming. Sometimes stress can come from not having a clear picture of what tasks you need to do, so those tasks can seem harder than they really are.
When you make a to-do list, the tasks become clearer. Then you can start to figure out when you can get them done, what you need to do to get them done, and whether you need help on some of them. Simply identifying what needs to be done can help make it more manageable and less stressful.
Make a schedule.
Scheduling may feel like something stressful, but it can actually help reduce stress if you change your approach. Instead of feeling like scheduling traps you and takes up your time, try to think of it as something that helps you save time for the things you want to do. Exercise, essential errands, and work deadlines might be good to include on your schedule.
Learn how to say, “No.”
What happens when people ask you to do them a favor? Do you naturally agree to help whenever it is possible? Sometimes, it is better to say no to them, even though it can be hard at first.
When you learn to refuse other people, you gain control of your own time, and that can be liberating. It doesn’t mean you can never help anyone again. It just means that you now have the choice of how to spend your time and energy. You may also find that cutting back on favors for other people gives you more time to do better for yourself and your loved ones.
Exercise is critical for a healthy body and mind. It also reduces stress. It gives you time to space out or think, lets you think more clearly so you can accomplish more, and improves mood. It can also lower stress if it helps you feel better about your body. Be sure to get clearance from your healthcare provider before exercising.
Focus on quality and quantity of sleep.
Too little sleep can turn you into a nervous wreck, but not everyone gets enough. It is important to set aside enough time for sleep, which can be 7 to 9 hours for most adults. You can support better sleep by making sure your room is cool, quiet and dark, by following a consistent and relaxing bedtime routine, and by avoiding caffeine and alcohol too close to bedtime. The Sleep Aid Patch by PatchAid* contains natural ingredients that can support normal relaxation and hormonal regulation.
Use deep breathing techniques
If you do find yourself getting stressed in the moment, try deep breathing. It can be as simple as taking five deep breaths. Inhale fully, hold for a moment at the top, and then exhale slowly. Visualize yourself letting go of stress as you exhale.
Eat a nutritious diet.
A number of essential nutrients are needed to support normal muscle relaxation and mood. Eating a wide variety of nutritious foods can help you get them. Vegetables, whole grains, fruit, legumes, nuts, and fish are some examples. At the same time, too much sugar, fried foods, or fatty foods can raise stress levels.
If you worry that you are not getting sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals, it can be good to ask your healthcare provider for an evaluation. It may be recommended to have some blood tests to check levels of vitamins and minerals and to try a supplement, such as the Multivitamin Topical Patch by PatchAid.*
Drink plenty of fluids.
Dehydration can make you feel pretty bad, and that can increase stress in your life. If you don’t drink enough, you might notice headaches, excessive fatigue, and confusion. Drinking more water, such as between meals or with meals, can help prevent dehydration. Black coffee, unsweetened tea, and low-sodium broth can also help you get more fluids. On the other hand, sugar-sweetened beverages, such as sodas, sweet tea, flavored coffee drinks, and sports drinks, could add to stress.
Save time for play.
Doing things that make you happy is not frivolous. It can reduce stress by changing your mood and recharging you for other things in your life that you are responsible for. The way you “play” could be playing a sport or video games, or engaging in a favorite hobby, such as gardening, sewing, or playing an instrument. Whatever you love is considered stress-reducing “play.”
Everyone needs to figure out their own schedule for play and set aside time. It could be a few minutes each weekday and longer times on weekends. Or, you might find a different schedule that works for you.
Life can be busy and stressful, but there are ways to manage stress to keep it from being overwhelming. Healthy living from a physical and emotional perspective can be effective in lowering stress levels, and supporting your body with necessary nutrients can support your efforts.* Always be sure to talk to your doctor if you have excessive stress or anxiety, and before taking any nutritional supplements.
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. PatchAid patches are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.