Managing our stress and finding ways to relax is crucial for our well-being.
1. Connect with loved ones. Spending time with people we care about increases our sense of belonging and decreases symptoms of depression and anxiety. Connecting with others helps us regulate our emotions and increase our self-esteem.
2. Talk about it. Keeping things bottled up and avoiding our feelings can lead to increase stress in our lives. Bottling up emotions is an unhealthy way to cope with our feelings and puts a strain on our mental health and on our relationships. It is important to break this cycle and talk about our feelings. This could involve talking to a friend, family member, or a professional to help you express your feelings and your needs.
3. Do the things you enjoy. This could mean anything from going for a walk, watching a movie, making a puzzle, playing a sport, painting, or any other enjoyable activity for you. When we are doing the things we love, it increases our motivation and productivity, and improves our overall health.
4. Breathe. Doing some deep breathing exercises decreases stress and pain we are experiencing. Deep breathing helps to regulate our system which increases our energy, and can decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety.
5. Self Care. Practicing self care improves our health. We need to ensure we are getting an adequate amount of sleep and we are eating nutritious foods for our mental and physical health. Self care also involves drinking water, exercising, good hygiene, and spending some time outdoors. Good self care rituals can reduce stress, improve energy, and increase happiness.
6. Take a break. It's important to know when we are feeling over worked or at risk of burnout. Burnout symptoms include feeling helpless and detached, loss of motivation, negative thinking patterns, and chronic fatigue. Taking a break allows us to recharge to help us feel motivated and accomplished in life. Breaks allow us to decrease our stress and improve our productivity and creativity.
7. Recognize the symptoms. Recognizing our stress symptoms can help us know when it's time to practice our self care. Emotional symptoms of stress include worry, anger, irritability, memory problems, loss of motivation, and difficulty concentrating. Behavioral symptoms of stress include nail biting, restlessness, teeth grinding, disrupted sleeping and eating patterns, interpersonal conflicts, social withdrawal, procrastination, and substance use. Physical symptoms of stress include headaches, asthma, muscle pain, sweating, nausea, indigestion, chest pain, and fatigue. Furthermore, chronic symptoms can occur in instances of chronic stress such as heart disease, anxiety, depression, substance use, sleep disorders, and memory impairment.
8. Watch an inspirational video. Watching inspirational videos such as Ted Talks motivates us to set goals and push ourselves to achieve those goals. These videos help spread positive messages of motivation and hope.
9. Learn when to say no. It is important to say no to maintain our relationship with others and to establish healthy boundaries. Saying no can be an important part of self care as it helps us to prioritize our needs and our wellbeing.
10. Practice Mindfulness. Mindfulness exercises allow us to be fully present with our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and environment. The benefits of Mindfulness include increasing emotion regulation, reducing anxiety and stress, decreasing depression, improving memory function, and improving relationships.