As North Americans, we live in a busy, fast-paced society, and it can be difficult to juggle the demands of our careers, romantic partnerships, family obligations, social lives, and volunteer responsibilities. While you can't wave a magic wand and make that daunting "to do" list disappear, you can improve your overall well-being and manage your stress by following these simple tips from stress and wellness expert Beverly Beuermann-King.
1. Get More Shut-Eye: Stress may cause insomnia, which is why it's important to establish a normal sleeping routine. Going to bed at the same time every night will help regulate your energy. Beuermann-King recommends that you get 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep per night. The conditions of your bedroom should be conducive to sleeping, so keep it cool and quiet and invest in a blackout shade if the room gets too much light.
2. Eat Well: Our nutrition impacts the way our bodies function, and healthful living is essential to managing stress. Reduce your sugar and caffeine intake and increase your water intake -- staying well-hydrated is important for every part of the human body.
3. Laugh More: Kurt Vonnegut once said, "Laughter and tears are both reactions to exhaustion and frustration. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward." Laughter is the perfect antidote to a long, stressful day. Watch a funny movie or TV show, go to a live comedy show, or get together with friends for some side-splitting reminiscence.
4. Relax: Whether you sign up for a beginners' yoga class, schedule regular massage appointments or treat yourself to a few moments of quiet solitude, finding ways to relax and stay centered will give your mind and spirit a breather from daily stressors.
5. Seek Support: There's no shame in asking for help when trying to manage your stress levels. Seeing a doctor or psychologist for "talking therapies" can help your work through your fears and anxieties, which can reduce your overall stress levels. Friends or relatives who have dealt with similar difficulties could be a helpful and comforting source to speak to, as well.
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