Stress – humanity’s eternal enemy. It’s a motivator, it’s a tight knot in your chest, it’s fear and worry and anxiety, and while it can be helpful at times, too much is often overwhelming. Here are five simple things you can do to keep your stress in check.
1. Fuel Your Body
There’s a reason why emotional eating exists; food, especially of the delicious sort, releases the feel-good chemical dopamine in our brains, among others. When we eat, we make ourselves happy, and when we miss a meal many of us often get angry, stressed or become unable to concentrate to a degree.
So, simple tip number one for staying zen: eat three square meals, preferably balanced and healthy, throughout your day and have snacks prepared in between. Drink coffee if you need to, or fancy bottled water, or Coke (forever superior to Pepsi). Just give your body the fuel it needs to work, and work hard at that. Routine is everything.
2. Get Plenty of Rest
Sleep is the cornerstone of a happy and healthy life, but more and more of us aren’t getting enough of it as time goes on. We browse phones before bedtime, we pull all-nighters, we wake up to screaming kids, to a snoring partner, to folks making noise on their way back from the pub. If you want to cut stress, it’s really quite simple. Improve your sleep.
Try no screens before bedtime. Try white noise, ear plugs, a curfew. Try a new, quality mattress, maybe even a memory foam mattress – the sleep market is a competitive one, that’s for sure, and it can be hard to know where to start when building your very own comfortable bed. Luckily, there is plenty of information out there which can help you find the better sleep company, and Casper have all sorts of variety available. Notably, Which? Best Buy recently voted Casper UK as a leading mattress retailer, for example. Casper mattresses allow for you to keep cool in bed, which is pivotal throughout the summer, and also help to align your spine for a more complete and relaxed sleep.
3. Move Your Body
Another great way to not only relieve stress, but prevent it, is exercise. Everything from a light jog to a dog walk to a marathon counts for this one, with bonus points for getting out into nature and fresh air. Your exercise can be as efficient as you like. You could cycle to work while listening to a podcast on your academic area of expertise. You could hit the office gym during lunch hour, planning the next upcoming meeting in your head.
Or, if you really want to switch off, you could find time elsewhere during the day and get to sweating out the stress with nothing on your mind at all except wicked good tunes.
4. Get Plenty of Chocolate
Certain indulgences keep us all sane. If you feel you’re on the edge, if you’re really drowning in deadlines, in to-do lists, in home life and stress, they can bring you back from the brink. Massages. Holidays. Chocolate. Trashy films.
Whatever your vice, remember it in times of need and don’t be afraid to get stuck in.
5. Hug, Kiss, Connect
Physical touch isn’t for everyone, but it can be extraordinarily helpful for fighting both stress and anxiety. When we pet an animal, when we hug a friend, when we cuddle up to our partner in the middle of the night, we’re once again releasing calming, feel-good chemicals in our brain. They might not always stem the tide of stress. They might not always solve the problem, but boy do they make tough challenges easier to handle.
The bottom line is, stress is tough. It’s as much about prevention as it is cures, and finding a healthy work, life and relaxation balance is key. The tips above are a starting point, that’s for sure, but only you can find what really works best for your personal situation.