We all stress out at some point. It’s part of being human and let’s face it, life is hard. However, it really matters how you react to it. Stress can have adverse effects on your health. The good thing is stress can be manageable. I know some days it feels like all we do is stress. I know I have days like that. Even when I tell myself to not stress out, I stress myself out even more. Long term stress is not only harmful to your mental health, but also your physical health. Look at some of the different effects stress has on your body:
• Frequent headaches
• Sleep problems
• Social withdrawal
• Weight loss or gain
• Rapid heart rate
• Hair loss
• Skin conditions
• Weekend immune system
• Can damage organs
• Fertility problems
• Memory problems
• High blood pressure
• Risk of heart attack
• Digestive issues
Understanding the effects stress can have on your mental and physical health is important. It can bring into perspective some changes you need to make and how you respond to certain situations. There are so many ways you can unwind when you’re feeling stressed, but I listed my 12 favorites below!
Everybody knows exercise is good for your health, and it is amazing to help you unwind when you’re stressed. Exercise has a huge impact on the body and brain. It is proven to have a positive impact on mental and physical health. Do an exercise you enjoy. Take a walk around your neighborhood, go for a jog, take a yoga class, hit up your CrossFit box, whatever physical activity you enjoy, get moving.
2. Soak in a warm bath.
Put on some music, grab a book, and soak in the bath. Drink a cup of warm tea to add in some extra relaxation. Add in some Epsom salt and bubbles.
3. Write it down.
Grab a journal and write down your thoughts and feelings. It can be very beneficial to your mental health, and it can really help you understand your emotions. Once you write down your feelings, you will feel somewhat of a relief, like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
4. Talk it out.
Talk to somebody you can confide in. Your significant other, your parents, a sibling, a friend; anybody who is willing to listen. Just like writing in a journal, you will feel relief after you talk it out.
5. Watch a movie or a favorite tv show.
Grab some candy, pop in your favorite flick or watch a favorite TV show at home. Whenever I’m stressed, I turn on “Friends.” It is my relaxing tv show. It always makes me laugh and gets my mind off whatever is stressing me out. Thing of a movie or show that makes you feel good and gets your mind off whatever is going on.
6. Essential oils.
Essential oils have been a life changer for me. I went months without being able to sleep. I would stay up way past midnight and I would be up at 5AM. No matter what I did, I just couldn’t sleep. I decided to try essential oils and not only have they helped my sleep situation; they have also had a huge impact on my anxiety. I diffuse oils during the day, as well as before bed, and I use my sleep roller at night. Within 20 mins of applying my sleep roller, I’m out. I even got my husband on the essential oil train. He had me make a sleep roller for him as well and he notices if he forgets to use it, he doesn’t sleep well.
I know needles, eek! But there are so many wonderful benefits for doing acupuncture. Did you know the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) states that “evidence for use of acupuncture to treat anxiety disorders is becoming stronger.”? Acupuncture inserts needles into certain pressure points to manipulate the body’s flow of energy. It has been proven to be very effective in stress management.
8. Get some sleep.
It’s been proven getting more sleep can reduce stress levels so take a nap, or go to bed early. If you’re having a problem falling asleep, try turning off all electronic devices an hour before you plan to go to bed. Try diffusing some essential oils, dim the lights, and write in a journal, or read a book chapter.
9. Treat yourself.
Enjoy your guilty pleasure. Go get some ice cream, froyo, or go on a shopping spree. Go buy that handbag you’ve been eyeing. You deserve it. Remind yourself life is good. Everything will be ok.
This is a big one. I know how hard it is to disconnect from the phone, social media, and emails, but I notice when I disconnect (even for a few hours) I feel better. Try to disconnect, even if it’s only for 30 mins, and enjoy everything else around you.
11. Cuddle up with your furry friend.
There are many benefits to having a pet. I mean c’mon, they are so darn cute and lovable! But cuddling with your pet can actually reduce stress. When you cuddle with your fur animal, your body’s cortisol levels drop. Cortisol is your body’s stress hormone and when your cortisol is too high, you risk having an increase in your blood pressure, which is bad for your heart. Grab your dog or cat and cuddle up on.
12. Turn on some music and dance (or clean).
I do this to unwind when I’m stressed. I know, totalMonica move right? When I’m stressed, I turn on some music and get to cleaning. Having a dirty house or being unorganized just adds to my stress load, and actually causes some anxiety, so I get moving! It’s also a great workout too! Try to not let stress ruin your health. I know it is easier said than done, but your life is not worth it. Try some (or all) of the tips above and let us know your favorite ways to de-stress.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jennifer is married to a Military Vet and has one daughter, Ryleigh who is 3. Born, raised, and currently living in sunny Southern California. Simply Jenn’s Life is a Motherhood & Lifestyle blog.
On her blog you will find Fashion and lifestyle tips from beauty, home decor, recipes, motherhood and everything else in between. She likes finding ways to simplify life including organization, quick and easy meals, meal prepping, and cleaning hacks. You can also check find out what she’s up to on Instagram.