Five Ways to Relieve Stress That Feel Doable
Stress can snowball out of control given the news of the pandemic mayhem. Excessive stress often begets more stress because we allow more negative health habits to take over. Complicated times call for simple measures. Here are five key — and manageable — strategies for keeping it together mentally and physically.
1) Maintain lifestyle habits that are stress-reducing and immune boosting
It’s easy to say, “I’m under so much stress, I deserve to drink 3 glasses of wine a night and eat an entire cheesecake!” But this only serves to undermine your health, your mood and the availability of clothes that fit. Try to keep a lid on the sugar/carb intake and be sure to add seven different fruits and veggies servings a day (limiting fruit to no more than two servings).
2) Manage your news and social media consumption
Choose a limited amount of time a day to look at the news and social media IF YOU MUST. Keep it to 30-minutes and fill the rest of your day with actions that are calming, supportive and nurturing.
3) Spend time out in the sun.
Aim for 30-minutes of daily sun to enhance your mood, increase vitamin D (a master immune booster), reduce stress and improve immunity.
Minutes Per Day
4) Get Enough Sleep
Sleep boosts melatonin which helps improve your immunity against infections. Aim for eight hours and try to keep a routine bedtime and wake time. Having issues with sleep? Avoid having more than one cup of caffeine a day and all alcohol until sleep is restored.
5) Try “Box Breathing” First-Thing In The Morning
Before reaching for your phone, try a 5-minute box-breathing session to relieve stress. Here’s the box: 1) Close your eyes. 2) Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. 3) Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. 4) Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat steps 1 through 4 three-times.