8 Stress Relief Tips
Stress can be found anywhere; at work, on the road, while shopping and even at home. On National Stress Awareness Day, take a moment to take a deep breath, sit back and take stock of the stress you are carrying. Tightened muscles, insomnia, increased blood pressure, and even boredom can be signs of stress, but it can also manifest in some long-term health effects, including a lowered immune system, depression and heart disease.
PIH Health Family Medicine physician Gregory J. Galbreath MD shares the following eight tips to help manage stress:
- Breathe in. Breathe out. Take a five minute break to give yourself some time to take deep breaths; inhaling deep and exhaling out the breath. This may seem like a simple thing to do, but this act alone can help slow your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.
- Get lost in a book or magazine. Reading something that holds your interest and attention is an easy way to give yourself some time to relax. Do it before going to bed to help your mind unwind and prepare for sleep; however, avoid reading from your smartphone since that could contribute to eye strain.
- Let your creative side roam. Take a moment to do some drawing or writing in a journal once a day. This can help you focus on something else other than what’s causing your stress.
- Make time to focus on you. Whether that means scheduling a massage or manicure, this kind of “me time” can help in the long run. Even something as simple as sleeping in once a week can make a difference.
- Take a warm bath or shower. Warm water can soothe and ease tension. Some drops of essential oils can add to the relaxing experience.
- Schedule a night out. If needed, try to secure some childcare and spend some time away from the kids with your partner or friends.
- Work it out. Do participate in physical activity to get your heart pumping for at least 30 minutes a couple days a week. The gym is not your only option. Alternatively, you can go for a walk during lunch, do some dancing, take an exercise class or even play outside with the kids
- Reach out. It may not feel like it, but friends and family can be happy to help you take care of some of the things stressing you out—even if it just means having someone’s ear to vent and get some things off your chest.
Although it is nearly impossible to completely avoid stress, it helps to be aware of the signs and take steps to minimize its effects, and to be in the know about stress management tips.