Give Stress a Rest
Five Ways to Decompress
Looking for ways to de-stress? Here are five. And not one of them involves running off to the spa every time you feel stressed (though if you can, go for it). Instead, try keeping these thoughts in mind as you work to meet your diet and exercise goals.
Just say “no”
You work hard, you manage a household, and you always make time to pick up the dry cleaning. Right? Well, give yourself a pat on the back. And then cut yourself a break. There are only so many hours in a day, and if you're already overloaded with items 1–5 on your to-do list, it's OK to say no when someone asks a favor. It may give you a sense of control. And being in control can have a positive effect on your stress level.
Yoga? You know it!
It may seem like stress is all in the head, but it has physical effects, too. After all, if you're stressed, you can end up feeling too busy to exercise. But don't forget, exercise is a great stress buster. So why not try yoga? Yoga's focus on breathing along with stretching can help you feel calmer and more relaxed. Make sure to check with your doctor before doing yoga or any other form of exercise. In the meantime, you can check your local community center to see if it offers yoga classes.
C'mon, get happy
What makes you laugh? Really, really laugh? Comedies? Spending time with friends and family? Your dog or cat? Well, whatever it is, if it makes you laugh, it’s a good way to relieve stress and relax. So laugh it up all you want.
Take a break
How much stress do you feel when you’re on vacation? Probably less than usual. As research suggests, a vacation can help you blow off work-related steam. And while you probably can’t take a vacation every time you’re feeling stressed, you can take all your vacation time. On average, Americans working for private companies for more than 12 months get 10 or more vacation days per year. Simply giving yourself time to relax may help reduce stress. So give yourself a break! Whether you spend it in another country or in the backyard, if you’ve got a vacation coming, take it.
Tick, tick, tick, time management
If life sometimes seems like a never-ending game of beat-the-clock, we understand. We can’t put more hours in a day, but we can give you a couple of time-management tips that may help reduce your stress levels.
- Think ahead: When you’ve got a lot on your plate, preparing yourself in advance goes a long way
- Make a list: Writing down the things you need to get done—and the fun of scratching them off as you go—helps keep you organized
- First things first: Prioritize the most important things you need to get done every day. And worry about the rest later