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Start Your Stress-Free Journey Today: 5 Essential Tips to Manage Stress Effectively

Stress is a physiological and psychological response to a change in a situation the body and mind find to be overwhelming.

With the fast pace of work and home, being constantly inundated with technology and still wanting to have time to connect with those around you, life can feel overwhelming and stressful at times. You may often ask yourself how you should manage stress.

Stress can’t be avoided. However, you can make it a goal to keep everyday stress at low levels. When you stress less over everyday things, you are better able to handle bigger challenges you might face.

If you want to get better at managing everyday stress, here are five things that can help you, beginning today:

Balance work and play. Make time to work on your tasks and goals (like work, family, or appointments). But be sure to make time for things you enjoy, too (like playing music, working out, playing with a pet, or spending time with friends). Even if it’s only a few minutes, daily time to relax, recharge and to simply “be” lowers your stress.

Plan your day & stick to it. Use a calendar or planning app to keep track of your daily schedule. Fill in your obligations (family, work, appointments) Add your workouts. Block in times to meal plan and meal prep or cook meals. Block in times to do things you enjoy. Having a plan and a daily routine lowers stress.

Of course, planning is no good if you don't do what you plan. Make it a routine to look at your plan every day. Check off what you’ve done. Get ready for what’s coming up. Make a routine time to exercise. Keep on top of meal planning and preparing. This lowers daily stress.

Eat good foods. What you eat affects your mood, energy, and stress level. Choose foods that are good for you. You don’t have to avoid all treats. But if sweets are your main source of fuel, you're likely to crash or feel cranky — and stressed! Creating a meal plan or taking steps to meal prep just a part of your meals can help lower meal time stress and keep you on track.

Get enough sleep. After a long day of work, home responsibilities and activities, you might feel like staying up late. Maybe you still have some emails calling your name. Or you want time to mindlessly scroll social media or binge-watch that show you like. But going to bed late doesn’t leave enough time for sleep when you need to get up early for work, to get the kids out the door or to get to that early morning workout. Without enough sleep, you’re more likely to feel stressed over the day’s ups and downs.

To avoid a stressful morning rush, stick to a set bedtime and wake time. Turn off screens well before bedtime. Wind down with quiet activities such as reading, writing, journaling or conversation with the people you live with.

Exercise every day. Stress melts away when you’re working out, playing a sport, or dancing to your favorite music. Exercise does more than keep you fit or burn calories. It’s a way to manage stress, lower anxiety and depression, and make your mood more positive. Intentional movement is important for our mental and physical health. Take a walk at lunch, do a quick yoga sequence before bedtime or join a dance class and learn something new. All of these things count as exercise.

This is in no way an exhaustive list of ways to manage stress. There are plenty of other ways you can work on stress management, too! Begin with just one thing you can do today and then add on from there.

Create a plan by downloading this Self Care Assessment. Answer a few questions to help you identify the places where you are already a self-care pro and some areas where you could focus more attention. Then use it to create a self-care plan!

All content of this blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this blog.

Kelly Sherman, MS, NC, CGP, CPT, is a licensed nutritionist specializing in empowering women to reclaim their health by cutting through misinformation and ditching the diet culture. She has a master’s degree in nutrition and is degreed in exercise science as well as a certified personal trainer. With over 20 years of experience in the field, she combines the best of both nutrition and exercise sciences to best help her clients reach their potential. To nourish is to flourish!


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