As national stress awareness month comes to an end, we would like to share some simple and healthy stress reduction methods to take with you throughout the rest of the year. Chronic stress can affect our well-being more than we realize, causing negative consequences in both our mental and physical health. Therefore, it is important to bring awareness to any stress that may impact us more than just one month out of the year.
Stress Awareness Month has been around since 1992, however, it seems particularly important this year due to everything going on in the world. Whether you realize it or not, you may be feeling the effects of undealt with stress as a result of a worldwide crisis. This is why it’s crucial to take a breath and relax before tackling every day life. Keep reading for some healthy ways to relieve stress.
Breathing is more than just inhaling and exhaling as you normally would. For stress relief, you should breathe with purpose – meaning taking purposely slow and measured breaths for a period of time. The ideal place to take a breather would be somewhere that is clean and quiet. That way, you can focus on bringing air in and out of your lungs, relaxing your mind and body in the process. Often, with deep breathing, you’ll try to suck in air for as long as you’re comfortable, then breathe it out slowly. When breathing out, it can feel as if you’re releasing the day’s stress and taking in more clarifying air afterward.
In tandem with deep breathing, yoga is also a great way to relieve stress. The poses and movements associated with yoga can manage pain, reduce stress, and improve well-being. Common poses like the butterfly pose and child’s pose can help ease stress and anxiety. The best part about yoga is that most poses can be done by everyone regardless of experience level. Beginners and seasoned pros alike can do the same pose and adjust it to their comfortability level. No matter what level you are, it’s always nice to have additions like a yoga mat or yoga cushion to make sure you’re as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Since chronic stress causes things like hair loss, weight fluctuations, and acne, your self-confidence can sometimes take a hit. Indulging in some rest and relaxation, as cliche as it may sound, might be precisely the pick-me-up you need. Going to the barber and getting a haircut, visiting the nail salon, or even buying an outfit you wouldn’t normally wear can boost your confidence in yourself and reduce stress, as those activities are relaxing for many. Also, taking measures to correct the root of the issue, like considering an acne treatment or hair growth product, can help improve your self-esteem. Pampering can mean anything you want, from a bubble bath to some retail therapy, so don’t limit yourself.
If there’s a book you’ve been meaning to read, this is your sign to pick it up. While there are tons of hobbies out there for people to try, reading is arguably one of the most relaxing. No matter the genre you’re reading, a good book can immerse you so thoroughly that you feel as if you’re in another world. For that reason, reading is a great stress reliever because instead of focusing on things that stress you out, you can focus on more enjoyable things. If you’re not sure what your next great read is, check out Goodreads to explore the best book to help you relieve some stress.
Just because April is almost over, that doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of yourself. Keep up these practices even as Stress Awareness month comes to an end, and make sure you’re mental and physical health the attention it needs.