According to a 2017 study by Gallup, 8 in 10 Americans feel stressed sometimes or frequently during their day. Most commonly, stressful emotions are caused by work or children, but lack of time and financial troubles also play a big part.
During the fall, most families have to adjust their schedules for the school year. As the holiday season approaches, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed with a long list of to-dos and little time to get everything done.
However, while this time of year can be overwhelming, there are things you can do during the season to manage your stress more effectively. The following are the best wellness tips for handling stress during the fall.
Introduce more movement in your day
When we’re dealing with stressful periods in life, one of the first things to go is self-care. And that’s only natural.
After all, the thought of cozying up on the couch, watching Netflix, and munching away on our favorite comfort foods sounds so much more appealing than going for a run in the cold, rainy weather.
However, this instinct is working against us, preventing us from blowing off steam properly.
According to health experts, exercise is one of the best ways to manage the negative effects of stress. In addition to releasing endorphins, a workout will also support cardiovascular, immune, and digestive function. That’s why it’s one of the best forms of self-care.
The CDC physical exercise recommendation for adults is 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This comes down to five 30-minute walks or a few workouts you can do at home.
Offset stress with good nutrition
Another way to handle your stress during the fall is to continue with the healthy eating habits you maintained during the summer season.
Eating a nutrient-dense diet won’t just make you feel better physically. You’ll be happy to hear that some vitamins and minerals do a great job of fighting off stress.
Try to include more mood-boosting healthy fats in your diet (like fish, nuts, avocado, and olive oil), as well as antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like berries, asparagus, and citrus fruits.
Get sufficient rest
If you’re in overdrive, trying to take care of every item on your to-do list, you may be sacrificing sleep.
However, the simple fact is, doing more (or working longer hours) does not mean getting more done. If you’re used to dismissing the importance of sleep, try to make some changes to your habits.
Proper sleep hygiene will allow your body and mind to recover during the night, flushing out toxins, improving your memory, and positively impacting your mood.
You can start small. Avoid sugar and caffeine in the afternoon. Turn off your digital devices before bed, and make sure you get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of shuteye per night.
What’s more, because of the numerous discounts going on, the fall season is the perfect time to upgrade your sleeping space. You’re guaranteed to find the ideal bed in this Sleep Junkie post on the Cyber Monday mattress sale, helping you turn your bedroom into an oasis of rest.
Plan for some relaxation
If you’re dealing with more stress than usual, try to make time in your day for fun and relaxation.
According to a research paper published in 2009, enjoyable leisure activities boost both mental and physical health. They lower blood pressure, cortisol levels, and waist circumference.
So, while spending more time inside, you can pick up a fun DIY project. Alternatively, dedicate a small portion of your day or week to your hobbies or any activity that fulfills you. Whether it’s reading, painting, listening to music, or exercise, it’s sure to make you feel better.
Lastly, if you’re under a lot of stress, try to pick up the habit of mediation.
Research shows that it’s an effective way to handle several physical and psychological conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, high blood pressure, sleep problems, and various other ailments.
If you’re new to the practice, start small, with just 5 minutes of guided meditation per day. As you do more of it, you’ll find it easier to shut off racing thoughts and focus on the present.
Plus, it’s not just a great way to start your morning. Even more, meditation is a practice that lets you slow down and get yourself in a relaxed state of mind whenever you feel like you’re dealing with too much.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help
There are numerous wellness tips for handling stress. Whether you decide to improve your sleep habits, eat healthier, or exercise more, you’re sure to feel the benefits.
Nonetheless, there are periods in life when the DIY route just can’t cut it.
If you feel like you’re in such a situation, make sure to talk to someone about it. A trusted friend, family member, or a therapist can help you gain perspective. Moreover, a professional will be able to give you solid advice, ensuring that you handle your stress in a healthy way.