Although it’s a part of life, stress can be incredibly difficult to deal with. Whether it’s from something unexpected or a more long-term source, stress can leave you feeling overwhelmed and hopeless. For many people, higher levels of stress have been a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s why more than ever, it’s important to know how to handle stress in a healthy way.
While there is no one-size-fits-all method of relieving stress, there are a number of coping strategies and healthy habits that have been proven to lower stress levels. These include:
- Get enough sleep. Your brain isn’t well-suited to handle stressful situations when it’s deprived of sleep, so make sure to get a full night’s rest (at least 6-8 hours) each night to prepare you for the day ahead.
- Get daily exercise. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress and walking in a great way to get started. Getting your blood pumping for at least 30 minutes a day is a great healthy habit that boosts your mood and lowers your stress levels.
- Do something you enjoy. Have a hobby? A hobby can help you relax. Volunteer work or work that helps others can also be a great stress reliever.
- Practice breathing exercises. Taking a moment to practice deep, mindful breathing in a moment of crisis or extreme stress can help you step back from the situation at hand and relax your nervous system. The Healthwise® Knowledgebase provides information on deep breathing techniques to help relieve muscle tension and other physical ailments associated with stress.
It’s also important to keep a strong social support network during difficult periods in your life. Having the support of friends and family can help you deal with your current stressors by offering a different perspective and a listening ear. If the stress comes to feel like too much, don’t be afraid to reach out to a professional for help.
Stress can feel unavoidable, but Capital Health Plan reminds you that you have the power to manage it – and resources are available to help you cope when it feels out of your hands