Stress affects the majority of us on a regular basis. Life is especially stressful right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. Getting rid of stress is not as simple as wishing it away. It takes a conscious effort that, while you’re stressed, may seem difficult or as an extra responsibility, but is worth it for your well-being.
Note: When we refer to “reducing stress and anxiety,” we mean caring for your mental health in general. If you feel like you’re struggling with a breakdown or are having suicidal thoughts, please get in contact with professionals who know how to help you get through what you’re experiencing. There is hope. Never give up.
Five tips for reducing stress and anxiety
- Exercise — Ugh, but exercise takes effort; how will that help my stress and anxiety? Well, yes, exercise does take some effort, but it can be one of the most helpful things for stress and anxiety. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins into your body. You want these endorphins because they are chemicals that cause sensations of happiness and pleasure. Getting in 20 or 30 minutes of exercise every day can release endorphins that help you live with less stress.
- Slow down on the coffee — We love coffee as much as the next person, but we all need to be careful with how much we drink. A cup of coffee a day should be fine, but drinking several cups can have negative effects.
High doses of caffeine can increase anxiety and make you feel jittery or anxious.
- Make time for others — Even if life is busy, you need to carve out some time to be with friends or family. Being with other people can give you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you reduce stress during tough times.
- Learn how to say no — One reason many people feel stressed or anxious all the time is because they take on too much. Does this sound like you? Instead of saying yes to everything to make others happy, learn how to say no to protect your own time and well-being.
- Stop procrastinating — Procrastination is a learned behavior, not an inherent trait. We learn to procrastinate out of stress or fear leading up to a daunting task. Work on unlearning procrastination so you can take more charge of your life and be proactive instead of reactive.
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