July 22, 2017

Take a Breather! By Sarah Johnson

Take a Breather by Following these Stress-Reduction Tips:

Even after the hectic holidays are over, a new year may bring new stress and anxiety.  Why not take a step back this year, and instead of worrying about all of the changes you’d like to tackle, make a resolution to manage your stress through these simple techniques.

Find some quiet time.  When your job or family demands become overwhelming, carve out a 5 minute time-out for yourself to stop, breathe and regroup.  Simply counting to ten and taking several deep breaths can slow your heart rate and blood pressure.  Take this time to reevaluate the stressful situation and respond to it calmly.

Exercise regularly.  Keeping up with your workouts can be challenging when the weather or your schedule don’t cooperate.  But getting in some form of exercise regularly is crucial to staying healthy and being able to better handle stressful situations.  Even an extra walk around the office or living room yoga session are better than no exercise!  A little bit will keep you consistent and in the mindset of doing something active every day.

Get enough sleep.  Trying to accomplish it all without much sleep is like flooring your car on fumes.  You’ll be hot out of the gate, but you’ll burn out in no time.  With little sleep, we tend to overreact to stress and feel even more pressure.  Sleep is your chance to recover; your body and mind rest and heal, and you’re able to recharge for another productive day.

Eat well.  Diet and stress management go hand in hand; from preparing meals in advance to eating more antioxidant-rich fruits and veggies in place of processed or pre-packaged foods, you’ll be less anxious if you can make a few simple changes: Know what’s in the food you’re eating.  Prepare it yourself when possible.  Put more fruit and veggies in your grocery cart.  Plan ahead for the week’s meals so you’re less likely to grab something unhealthy.

Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahJChicago

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