Ever find yourself overthinking, being unable to relax, feeling the need to take control, feeling nauseous, or having trouble staying or falling asleep? I do. These are symptoms of stress and anxiety that you may or may not know you’re battling. Luckily, there are a few stress-fighting activities you can practice to help manage your everyday battle.
Stress and anxiety can be triggered by life changes, the loss of a loved one, family issues, and more. Those of you who battle stress, anxiety, or both (the real kicker) know how emotionally and physically draining it can be to try to manage each day. If you think stress may be interfering with your life, try one or all five tips below.
Five self-help tips you can do to help reduce stress and anxiety:
- Get consistent, restful sleep. Don’t underestimate how important this is, and resist the temptation to cut corners here. It’s surprising that when you get a good night’s rest, how you can start the next day with a calm mind.
- Write things down. If your mind is racing, or keeps you from sleeping, write down your thoughts. You may feel as if you dumped your emotions or concerns on the paper and out of your mind. Try carrying around a small notebook with you, so you’re prepared to de-stress.
- Let it out. Crying can be very therapeutic. It helps to free your heart of muscular tension and enhances oxygen flow, which helps promote relaxation.
- Practice mindfulness meditation. Try these free guided meditations or download a free meditation app to help ease you into it. If meditation isn’t your thing, establish a new habit of getting a relaxing massage.
- Decompress. Carve out at least 30 minutes each day to mentally decompress. Give adult coloring a try–sit in a quiet room and color one of the free downloadable coloring pages below. You may like it!
When self-help isn’t enough
If you think that you’d benefit from additional help, you can schedule a doctor visit to discuss your symptoms. He or she may prescribe medication(s) that can help deal with your stress. Or, you may be referred to a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist, therapist, or psychotherapist (yes, they are all different). Sometimes a combination of medication and therapy can help you feel better soon.
Not sure if you’re battling stress?
Take this free stress test to help determine if you may be dealing with stress. Depending on your test results, you may choose to start with the self-help tips above or schedule a visit with your doctor. If you have questions about how to deal with stress or anxiety, talk to your doctor.