Stress is a normal part of life and isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Small amounts of stress can be helpful in dealing with life or work situations. But chronic stress is unhealthy and can lead to long-term health problems. To avoid the negative health impacts of chronic stress, here are some tips on how you can lower stress.
Eat well-balanced meals
Make sure you have a well-rounded diet that includes lean proteins, vegetables, fruits and healthy carbohydrates. Also, remember to stay hydrated and drink water throughout the day. Water supports your body in critical ways, including getting rid of waste, regulating your body temperature and more.
Get enough sleep
Adults should sleep seven to eight hours each night. Having a nightly routine to help you unwind, sticking with a regular bedtime, and making your bedroom a comfortable place to sleep will help you get the good night’s sleep that your body needs.
Practice healthy time management
Give yourself the time you need to complete your daily to-do list. Keep track of your schedule and appointments in a planner or in your phone’s calendar so you have a full picture of your time. Set healthy expectations and boundaries so you can protect your time and keep yourself from getting overwhelmed.
Take time for self-care
Set aside time where you can do something relaxing that is good for your mind and body. This could be a stress-relieving activity like meditating, exercising or stretching. Find something that lets you relax and take your mind off the day’s stressors, and do it consistently.
Find a hobby that you enjoy
Having something that you look forward to doing can help you keep a healthy mindset. Your hobby could be anything, whether you enjoy cooking new recipes, learning new languages or reading books. Find something that is easy for you to fit into your schedule so that you don’t feel stressed to make time for it.
Learn relaxation techniques
Find a relaxation technique that you can use throughout your day to help manage stress. Taking three deep breaths or doing breathing exercises can help you pause for a moment to find calm. You could also try going on a quick walk or stepping away from your desk for a moment to get a change of scenery.
Talk with your doctor
If you’re dealing with chronic stress and symptoms of anxiety or depression, talk with your doctor and work together on a care plan to help manage your stress. Your doctor may also refer you to a mental health specialist. Don’t wait too long to get help. Mental health concerns should be handled early and with care.
If you don’t have a doctor or mental health specialist, you can find one using our Find Care tool. Log in to your member account at members.bcidaho.com or on the Blue Cross of Idaho member app and select Find Care. From there you can search for providers by specialty to find one that fits your needs.
Posted: April 5, 2023