After a hectic day at work or a long day taking care of kids, finding stress relief at home may seem next to impossible. But take heart. There are plenty of simple and inexpensive stress busters you can enjoy right in the comfort of your own home.
Since chronic stress affects almost every system in your body, finding ways to manage it is critical to your physical, mental and spiritual health. Consider these 7 simple activities.
Reduce Stress With Exercise
Go for a jog, brisk walk, pop in a DVD or find an exercise video on YouTube and get your heart rate up. Physically active people tend to have less anxiety and depression compared to more sedentary people.
Besides providing physical benefits, exercise also:
- Boosts alertness and concentration
- Enhances overall cognitive function
- Prompts your body to release endorphins, a hormone that dulls our pain receptors and improves our mood
- Reduces levels of the adrenaline and cortisol, the body's stress hormones
Spending time outdoors lets you clear your mind, refocus and escape chaos for a while. Take a walk around your block, walk a trail near your house, take your dog for a walk or simply look at the stars to connect with the natural wonders of your environment.
Decrease Phone Time
The pings of texts, email and other notifications keep you on alert and make you feel like you have to take action. About four out of five adults in the U.S. say they constantly or often check their email, texts and social media accounts, according to an American Psychological Association survey.
Checking your social media accounts can also make you frustrated or upset depending on what you find at the moment, raising your stress level even more.
Give yourself the gift of more time and less stress by putting your phone out of site. You can also use your phone’s settings to set hours where texts and notifications are blocked.
Get More Sleep
Lack of sleep can make you feel irritable, gain weight, eat more unhealthy food and lose focus. It can also dull our coping skills. So, consider it a necessity and not a luxury.
Experts recommend seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Treat your bedtime like an appointment to ensure you to go bed on time. Set yourself up for success and ready your environment for a good night’s sleep.
It’s true: Laughter is the best medicine. A good belly laugh:
- Helps you forget your stress and problems
- Lifts your spirits
- Reduces stress hormones and releases “happy” hormones
- Relaxes your muscles and increases blood flow
Laughter is even better shared with your friends or family at home. Play an amusing game or watch a funny movie. Who can resist a silly cat video or babies laughing?
Spend Time With Others
Make sure to spend meaningful time with friends and family. Reconnect with them after a long day. Social connections reduce anxiety and depression, boost the function of your immune system and even help you live longer. Read a book to your kids. Work on a puzzle or craft. Plan a game night with friends. Hang out with your favorite pet. If nothing else, call a friend and just catch up.
Set aside time for the activities that nurture your complete well-being. That may include drinking your favorite tea, setting aside time for prayer and reflection, joining a bible study or just sitting quietly and reflecting on moments of gratitude.
And if you need a little help along the way, we are here for you. Learn more about our health and wellness programs that support your whole health.