A certain amount of stress is considered normal, but what about when it starts interfering with your everyday life? Headaches, insomnia, nausea and the inability to concentrate are troublesome physical effects of stress, and they can be debilitating at times. If you haven’t been able to manage your stress yet — now is the time. With the holiday season right around the corner, obligations and to-do lists can increase your stress even more.
What exactly is considered normal when it comes to stress levels? “There are going to be stressors in everyone’s life. But the extent to which it interferes with your ability to function is up to you,” says Megan Schabbing, M.D., OhioHealth psychiatrist.
Schabbing says that stress shouldn’t ever keep you up at night, or interfere with your ability to enjoy time with family and friends. If it is, it’s time to make some changes. Here are six effective ways you can de-stress now.
1. Exercise: Exercise is a great outlet both mentally and physically, Schabbing says. Anything from intense exercise such as spinning to low-impact, leisurely walking can help you relax and burn calories.
2. Talk: Whether it’s with a friend or a licensed counselor, it’s helpful to get your feelings on the table so you can start to manage them. If you ever have suicidal thoughts, call 911 immediately.
3. Meditate: Take five minutes each morning to reflect on your day. Meditating doesn’t have to be long, but that time to be still can be impactful when it comes to decreasing stress.
4. Laugh: Laughter helps your body relax both mentally and physically, by increasing blood circulation, endorphins and oxygen intake. To reap the benefits of a good chuckle, tune in to your favorite sitcom or find a funny meme to share with friends.
5. Coloring: Whether it’s colored pencils or crayons, the childhood pastime is making a comeback for adults. Coloring is extremely therapeutic when it comes to stress relief, and the research proves it.
Want more help with reducing stress during the holidays? Check out all of our healthy living tips!