Stress is a natural part of life. It usually stems from different relationships that affect you the most, whether these are your family, work or colleagues, life partner, or even your mind. Although there are healthy stressors, the other side of the coin brings people into a distressed and vulnerable state. Stress can cause physical and emotional consequences—like a worsening skin concern or anxiety and depression.
But the good news is: that stress is controllable. You just have to know and treat yourself better. Sure, you can cope by retail therapy and indulging in your favorite food, but there are far better ways to reduce and manage the stress that directly addresses the root cause of the problem. Recognizing patterns of what causes your stress, along with factors that trigger you is a great start.
Take a step back and evaluate how you react to things. What makes you constantly uneasy? Do you think it’s because of spending so much time on social media? Do other people’s opinions mean a lot to you? Are you pressured at work? Learning and building from these personal habits and triggers lead to a better understanding of yourself and the challenges you face.
Healthy Lifestyle Actions for Stress Management
When every day feels like a hard race—one can only dream of a stress-free life. It’s easy to say that coping with this emotional challenge can simply be cured with a weekend getaway, or by checking out items in your online shopping cart. But in reality, dealing with stress appropriately starts with a healthy lifestyle and a sound environment.
Here is a list of lifestyle practices that you can apply to achieve a mindful and clear headspace!
1. Put your phone down.
Do you look for your phone first thing in the morning? Maybe that’s one of the reasons why you feel stressed. Consuming social media as a breakfast (or while eating) can set you up for an unproductive day. Try closing your alarm and putting your phone away as you wade through your morning routine. You’ll see that there are many things you can do aside from aimlessly scrolling while the sun is rising.
Spending your morning and night routine disconnected from the demands of the digital world can improve your wellness. You don’t have to pressure yourself to become overly productive. Take this time to breathe, internalize, and set your intentions for the day.
2. Set up an emotion tracker.
If you feel like you’re just getting through one day to another, maybe you need an emotional tracker. Stress can leave you unfocused—doing only the task at hand and leaving other things unchecked (like your emotional health).
A wellness tracker serves as your emotional battery. It gives you a bigger picture of what’s going on in your life. So, setting one up can help you gauge your internal capacity and address it as soon as possible—especially on your down days. It can guide you in assessing the patterns of your emotions and what triggers them. You can also refer to it when realigning your priorities to improve your well-being.
3. Take a day (or days) off.
There are days when you feel like the world demands too much from you. This is an indicator to take some time off. Pushing yourself way past your limit leads to burnout, over-fatigue, and other health conditions.
You don’t have to plan a grand getaway to relieve your stress though. Starting with small activities that help you recuperate is the way to go. Catch up on your reading list or meet your best friend for lunch! You can also use this time to stay in and sleep! We sometimes overlook the benefits of sleep, but having a good (and enough!) rest keeps you stress-free!
During your day off, try to stray from opening your email. Don’t worry, there are PTOs for different employees that allow you to enjoy your me-time at ease!
4. Keep your body and mind active
Sometimes, dealing with stress can cause you to resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms. It’s inevitable and that’s okay. However, it’s essential to know the healthy limit of everything.
Case on point: exercising. Not everyone can afford a gym membership. Some circumstances hamper one’s fitness journey like depression or other health concerns.
However, there are alternatives that—when practiced regularly—can keep you fit and stress-free. You can try walking for a minimum of 30 minutes around the neighborhood or buy a jumping rope and use it daily at your convenience. Plus, there are also rising lifestyle programs in workplaces that encourage teams to alleviate their stress through step challenges!
Being active trains your mind and body to gain more focus, endurance, and happy hormones which are essential in stress management.
Stress management starts with knowing yourself better. By keeping track of your internal and external capacities, you are in better control of yourself. You have to find the right equilibrium and healthy compromise in practicing these lifestyle changes, though.