Whether it’s a looming deadline or a family crisis, we all go through bouts of stress at many points in our lives. Yet it’s not the stresses in your life that matter, but how you deal with them. Here are some proven strategies for softening the blow.
How to deal with stress
Think of food as fuel that can help you mentally and physically during challenging times. If it’s hard for you to eat properly, keep a bottle of Ensure® around to make sure that you’re getting enough protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Keep to your routines.
Research shows that simple routines — doing the same thing at the same time every day — can dramatically reduce your experience of stress. For instance, if you do a few minutes of stretching exercises every morning after you wake up, try to stick to that.
Watch the self-talk.
While it’s important to acknowledge that you’re off track, don’t overdo it and obsess about worst-case scenarios. For example, instead of telling yourself that you’ll go crazy if you don’t meet your deadline, tell yourself that you’ll handle it as best as you can.
Get enough sleep.
Any worrisome thoughts will be amplified by sleep deprivation. Since anxiety can make it hard to sleep try to set aside a quiet relaxation period before you go to bed — e.g. no work emails! Most healthy adults need between 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep a night to function at their best.
Take up yoga.
Science is proving the therapeutic benefits of this age-old stress management technique, which includes breath control, meditation, and specific body postures. Practiced daily, it can help regulate your breathing, relax your body by releasing tension from the muscle groups, and quiet your mind when you’re feeling overwhelmed.