Can you believe it? Summer is on its way out and Fall is back on in again. Vacations and relaxing days at the beach are ending, sadly. Getting back into the swing of things can be tough, and it can be stressful. That brings us to this month’s health topic: stress management!
First things first: everyone deals with stress! The good news is not all stress is bad! Stress can help improve our performance at work or when we compete in sports. However, the problem occurs when we have too much stress. When we are too stressed, it can negatively affect your health in a number of ways. The good news is that if we know how to manage our stress, we are able to carry on without feeling overwhelmed or bogged down by it.
Are you too stressed? Here are some signs you might be:
– Feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
– Loss of interest in work
– Feeling run down or overly tired
– It’s hard to concentrate
– Tight, sore muscles even if you did not exercise
– Digestive problems
– Not wanting to go out with friends
You can take steps to help manage your stress! Here are some tips:
– Exercise! Ever wonder why squeezing a stress ball over and over helps you feel better? Well, physical activity stimulates the release of “happy” chemicals such as endorphins, oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin. Take some time for yourself and get your sweat on! You’re going to be a good tired and you’ll also feel a lot better mentally.
– Fuel with the right foods! Choose foods that can keep you going throughout the day. This is something that’s important not just when you’re stressed! Not eating enough can make you feel anxious and cranky (HANGRY is a real thing!), while eating too much can leave you feeling tired. By eating small, frequent healthy meals, you help your body maintain an even level of energy throughout the day. That keeps you operating at your best! Think fruits and veggies, not chips and cookies!
– Get enough sleep! When we are too stressed our minds can feel like they’re racing in a million different directions, making it hard to relax. It is incredibly important though to get a proper amount of sleep each night. If we don’t sleep enough, we put our body at risk of feeling off, or “out of whack.” Treat yourself to a warm bubble bath or listen to some calming music. You’ll be surprised at how much it can improve your mood!
– Make a list! If you feel like you have way too much to do, make a list and put it in order of which things needs to be done now, and which things are not as important to get done right away. If you have a big project you can break that down into steps and just focus on one step at a time.
– Ask for help! It is okay to not be able to do everything. We’re not all superheroes! It is okay to tell someone you trust that you are feeling overwhelmed and need their help. Remember, teamwork is one of the best ways to get things done!
– Think positive! Focusing on the downside of every situation can leave you dragging and unmotivated. When you think positively about yourself and your work, you’re more productive!
There you go! Simple, easy ways to help manage your stress and keep you performing at your best!
Stay tuned for next month’s blog, which will be a guide to all that Halloween candy!