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Dealing with Stress and Anxiety?

Tips to find calm

During times of uncertainty, it’s common to feel anxious or worried. To manage stress and anxiety, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends staying healthy by eating nutritious meals, exercising, practicing mindfulness and getting proper sleep, among other things.

Exercise regularly and eat healthy

Exercise has been proven to have many health benefits. Exercise releases endorphins, which can help lower stress. Try to get between 30-60 minutes of exercise a day. If you have health problems, consider reviewing your exercise plans with your primary care provider first. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Moderate Exercises

Five days a week, do 30-60 minutes of moderate exercise, such as:

  • Walking briskly
  • Riding a bike slowly
  • Jogging lightly

Vigorous Exercises

Three days a week, do 20-30 minutes of vigorous exercise, such as:

  • Running
  • Swimming laps
  • Mountain biking

Resistance Exercises

Two to three days a week, do resistance exercises. Do three to four sets of eight to 12 reps of:

  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • Squats

dealing with stress and anxietyTo fuel your exercises, you’ll need to eat well-balanced meals. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), your meals should consist of four parts:

  1. Half of your plate should be vegetables or fruits
  2. One-quarter of your plate should be whole grains
  3. One-quarter of your plate should be lean protein
  4. Include one to two servings (1/2 cup) of low-fat dairy a day

Exercising and eating right is a great place to start in managing stress, and they can benefit many aspects of your life. However, you may need to find more ways to free your mind of worry.

Do stress-relieving activities

Incorporate daily activities that help you let go of stress. Find activities that will help you clear your mind and shed extra stress that you may be holding on to. Here are a few mindful ways that can help you destress:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga or stretching
  • Deep breathing
  • Muscle relaxation techniques

These are great for helping you think clearly and feel more relaxed. However, one major way to ensure that these tips are effective is to get proper sleep.

Get a good night’s sleep

When you’re running on empty from a lack of sleep, it can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sleep is a vital part of your overall health, and adults should try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Here are a few ways things you can do to make your nights more restful:

  • Avoid using electronics (phones, tablets and laptop), exercise and food right before bed
  • Stick to a sleep schedule
  • Get up at a regular time every day – this is more important than the time you go to bed
  • Exercise regularly
  • Try not to eat large meals before bed
  • Avoid alcohol near bedtime and avoid caffeinated beverages after lunch

Sleep is an essential part of our health because it helps our bodies and minds restore. If you don’t get enough sleep, then your mind and body will feel run-down.

Start small

Each of these tips will not only help you live a more stress-free life, but also a healthier one. Start by focusing on one thing at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Once you get one of these areas going in the right direction, pick another to work on.

Posted: October 13, 2021