6 Tips For Managing Stress
I shared some of these tips last fall, however, I think this is more valuable now than ever. I know that one of the best ways to keep our immune system strong is to keep our minds healthy and our stress levels low.
I remember a former mentor of mine saying “Pressure is good. Stress is bad. Pressure will turn into stress if you don’t know how to properly handle it”! That has always stuck with me. I’m fortunate that I don’t really get “stressed” often- or I at least don’t let pressure get out of control.
Here are 6 simple tips for managing stress:
1) Take a break from the stressor
It may seem difficult to get away from a big work project, a crying baby, an in-law or a growing credit card bill, but when you give yourself permission to step away from it and let yourself have time to do something else, it can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed! It’s important to not avoid your stress (letting those bills pile up will be MUCH more stressful in the future), but even just 20 minutes to step aside & take care of yourself is super helpful!
2) Focus on what you CAN control
During our mandated COVID-19 quarantine’s and temporary breaks from work, it’s easy to let the unknown future stress us out. There is a lot out of our control right now and it’s hard when we can’t see the whole staircase when we are taking each step day by day. The best thing to do right now is focus on what you CAN control. You can control your attitude, how you treat people, what you’re eating, how often you’re moving your body, how much social media or news you’re intaking, who you’re in contact with, etc. Be conscious of what you’re focusing on and letting dictate your attitude!
The research keeps growing — exercise benefits your mind just as well as it does your body! We all know the long-term benefits of a consistent exercise routine, but did you know that even a 20-minute walk, run, some resistance training, etc. in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours?! Try it! There’s a reason KW Fitness has grown every single year we’ve been in business… because people are realizing the long term impacts exercise (especially with an awesome trainer) can have on their body AND their mind! During this temporary COVID-19 quarantine, our clients are getting “remote coaching” to stay on track for their goals and to keep their bodies moving!
4) Smile and laugh.
Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face! Laughs and smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation. Seriously.. how can you be stressed when you’re laughing?! What makes you laugh and smile? Put more of it in your life!
5) Get social support
Call a friend or send a text! When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. It’s important, though, that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and you feel can understand and validate you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not alleviate your stress if you share your work woes with one of them. Surround yourself (from a distance, for the time being) with people who lift you up!
Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practicing a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits!
Some information sourced from the APA (American Psychological Association)