Stress is Inevitable — Here are 5 Ways to Relax
Everyone experiences feelings of stress throughout their lives. Unfortunately, stress is inevitable and can’t be avoided. For those in recovery, stress is one of the most common triggers for relapse. That is why it is important to manage those complicated feelings in healthy ways. By doing so, you are also preventing relapse from occurring and maintaining the hard work you have put into your recovery journey.
As the pending holiday season quickly approaches, stress levels are likely to rise as people prepare for family gatherings, big meals, and large celebrations. However, the holidays can also increase feelings of loneliness, uncertainty, financial pressure, and exhaustion. There are both healthy and unhealthy ways of coping with difficult and challenging times.
If you are beginning to feel your stress levels rise, try these 5 healthy habits to relieve those emotions and boost your mood:
1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Getting an adequate amount of sleep has a number of physical and mental health benefits. Good sleep has been proven to improve concentration and productivity, exercise performance, and immune function. Poor sleep has been linked to depression, anxiety, weight gain, and heart disease. Ensure you are getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, especially in times of heightened stress.
2. Start an Exercise Routine
Whether it is yoga, a daily walk, or strength training, regular exercise improves your mood and makes you feel happier. While exercise is good for building muscle and weight loss, it can also help with skin health, brain health, memory, and sleep quality. Find a workout that you enjoy doing and incorporate it into your regular routine to promote your overall well-being.
3. Get Outside
Studies show that spending time outside lowers cortisol — a hormone used as a marker for stress. Soaking up the sun will increase your vitamin D, improve your mood, lower your blood pressure, and reduce your stress levels. As the days continue to get shorter for the fall and winter seasons, setting aside time to get some sunlight is pertinent to your physical and mental health.
4. Prioritize and Organize
One of the best ways to combat stress is to organize any upcoming projects, events, and tasks. Use to-do lists to help you prioritize the most important items and focus on one thing at a time. Visualizing your list will also help reduce your stress and motivate you to check off everything as you complete it.
5. Spend Time with People You Love
Making time to call your closest friends and family members will uplift your spirits and put you in a good mood. Often, the people we love can make us laugh, and laughter is the best medicine of all. They will also listen to you vent, and support you through whatever you may be going through.
Making Healthy Choices at Cedar Oaks Wellness Center
At Cedar Oaks Wellness Center, we take a holistic approach to treatment. This means we don’t just help our clients detox. We also teach them helpful techniques and mechanisms that will help them make healthy decisions for their future.